LinkedIn has agreed to pay $1.8 million to nearly 700 female workers in California after the Department of Labor alleged that they were subjected to “systemic, gender-based pay discrimination.”
In doing so, LinkedIn 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.
“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 Monday.
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, LinkedIn 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 including employment policies, records, and compensation data for individual employees, as well as 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. It will also conduct an internal review and make salary adjustments if it finds that its compensation isn’t gender-neutral.
“Our agreement will ensure that LinkedIn better understands its obligations as a federal contractor and complies in the future,” Jane Suhr, the OFCCP’s regional director for San Francisco, said in a statement.
LinkedIn said that its 2021 equal pay analysis found that globally its female staff earned $0.999 for every $1.00 earned by male staff and that it regularly evaluated its pay practices “to ensure our employees are being compensated fairly.” The company says women make up nearly 42% of its leadership globally.
Full-time female workers in the US on average earned 16.9% less than male workers in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2000, that figure was 23.1%.
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