LinkedIn has agreed to pay $1.8 million to nearly 700 female workers in California in back wages after the US Department of Labour (DOL) alleged that they faced “systemic, gender-based pay discrimination”. The company failed to comply with an Executive Order that prohibits companies from discriminating against workers based on gender, the DOL alleged. LinkedIn denied violating the order.
According to a complaint, during 2015-2017, women working at the online-networking company in engineering and marketing jobs in San Francisco and in engineering and product jobs at its Sunnyvale headquarters were not paid as much as their male colleagues, according to a DOL statement published on May 3.
“While we have agreed to settle this matter, we do not agree with the government’s claims; LinkedIn pays and has paid its employees fairly and equitably when comparing similar work,” the tech company said in a statement.
The DOL’s findings emerged from a routine evaluation by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) looking into LinkedIn’s compensation policies and practices between March 1, 2015 and March 1, 2017.
The OFCCP said that after controlling for other factors, the company paid some female employees “at a statistically significant lower rate than their male counterparts, which if proven, could result in a violation of the Executive Order.”
The findings were based on sources such as employment policies, records and compensation data for individual employees, and interviews with managerial, non-managerial and HR employees.
Under a conciliation agreement between the company and the DOL, LinkedIn will pay around $1.75 million in back wages and more than $50,000 in interest to 686 workers. The department will also conduct an internal review and make salary adjustments if the compensation is not found to be gender-neutral.