Dodging federal discrimination disclosures endangers Dish deals

Dish Network Corp. could lose its government contracts and be prevented from receiving new ones because it failed to send affirmative action program documents to the US Labor Department, according to a new agency lawsuit.

The U.S. Department of Labor filed the lawsuit against Dish Network seeking an order to compel the company to provide documents and information needed to complete a review of the federal contractor’s equal employment opportunity practices at its Roseland, New Jersey, location.

Filed on Aug. 21, 2023, with the Office of the Administrative Law Judge, the lawsuit seeks information necessary for a compliance review by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

OFCCP began a compliance review in 2018, issuing a scheduling letter requiring DISH Network to submit its affirmative action program and supporting data for its Roseland establishment within 30 days from the date of receipt.

After the company failed to comply, the agency issued a show cause notice in 2019, demanding the contractor submit the outstanding information and data or demonstrate why enforcement proceedings should not be initiated. DISH Network has refused to comply.

Since 2016, the television and wireless network services provider has had contracts with federal agencies, including the U.S. Agency for Global Media BBG, the Bureau of Prisons, the Marshals Service, the Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense. The employer is based in Englewood, Colorado.

“Despite years of efforts by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to secure voluntary compliance, DISH Network Corp. continues to violate its legal obligations while benefiting from federal contracts,” said OFCCP Regional Director Diana Sen. “Compliance with the law is not optional.”

If DISH Network Corp.’s does not comply, the department has asked for the judge to cancel the company’s current government contracts and debar them from future government contracts. 

Read the complaint.

“The U.S. Department of Labor has asked a court to terminate DISH Network Corp.’s federal contracts if the company continues to fail to provide the information,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey S. Rogoff. “The U.S. Department of Labor will pursue all necessary legal actions to ensure federal contractors abide by equal opportunity requirements.”

OFCCP’s Northeast regional office in New York is conducting the compliance review. Jasmine Wade and Andrew Karonis of the New York Regional Office of the Solicitor are litigating the case for the department.

OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.

Together, these laws prohibit employment discrimination.

According to the company’s 2022 annual report, it had 10,800 employees in New Jersey as of December 31, 2022, which includes workers at the business headquarters in Englewood, as well as employees at call centers, retail stores, and other facilities in the state.

The company’s workforce in New Jersey is expected to decline in the coming years, as Dish Network continues to consolidate its operations and reduce its workforce.

In 2023, the company plans to cut 3,000 jobs nationwide, including 1,000 jobs in New Jersey.

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