KPMG entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination against 60 Asian candidates applying for associate auditor jobs in the firm’s Short Hills, N.J., office.

The Labor Department announced the agreement last week between the firm and the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The OFCCP found KPMG violated an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color or national origin. The firm has over $14 million in contracts with various federal agencies including the Energy Department, Housing and Urban Development, along with NASA and the Internal Revenue Service.

“Together, the department and KPMG will ensure that this issue is resolved, and that the company has the measures in place to comply with federal hiring and employment law,” said OFCCP acting director Thomas Dowd in a statement.

KPMG didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay $420,000 in back pay, interest and benefits to the 60 Asian applicants. It also agreed to give opportunities at associate audit jobs to six of the applicants as those positions become available. In addition, KPMG said it would take steps to make sure its personnel practices, including record-keeping and internal auditing procedures, meet the legal requirements.

The firm pointed out it already has been recognized for its hiring of Asian employees. “KPMG has long been recognized as a great place to work and build a career, including being named the 2017 Best Employer for Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) by the Asia Society,” said a statement emailed by spokesman Manuel Goncalves. “We could not be more proud of our diverse and inclusive culture, which influences everything we do and is an essential element of our business strategy.”

KPMG logo on wall
Tannen Maury/Bloomberg News

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.