The U.S. Department of Labor fined Bank of America $2.2 million in back wages and interest, after 1,147 African-American job seekers claimed to have dealt with discriminatory hiring practices by the lender at their Charlotte, N.C., headquarters from 1993 to 2005, according to CNN.
The case, which was first filed by one African-American employee back in 2005, quickly grew to 1,200 class representatives.
Court documents specify that the presiding judge over the case, administrative law judge Linda Chapman, found that “the bank applied unfair and inconsistent selection criteria resulting in the rejection of qualified African-American applicants for teller and entry-level clerical and administrative positions.” For the most part, the majority of those looking to secure a career with Bank of America’s Charlotte facility were reportedly never even considered.
Chapman also ordered Bank of America to extend job offers to ten former job applicants who had been turned down previously as soon as positions become available.
The lender argued for a lower settlement amount, stating that they could not take advantage of missing records they had failed to keep. The bank’s pleas fell on deaf ears and Chapman’s ruling remained.
A Bank of America spokesperson told CNN the lender is reviewing the court decision.
The decision comes on the heels of a $160 million settlement over racial discrimination charges against Merrill Lynch that was considered to be one of the largest in history. Merrill Lynch, the investment banking and wealth management division of Bank of America, was sued by black financial advisors who felt the company’s culture was toxic for them.
The two settlements are not related.