The United States is also preparing for a mutual return to compliance with the Iran nuclear agreement

LONDON: LinkedIn announced on Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with the US Department of Labor to pay female employees $1.8 million to settle pay discrimination claims.

US labor investigators said LinkedIn between 2015 and 2017 denied equal pay to 686 women in its San Francisco office and California headquarters.

The women – the majority of whom worked in engineering, marketing and product fields – had been paid “at a statistically significant lower rate” than their male counterparts, even after taking into account “legitimate explanatory factors “, said the investigators.

In response, LinkedIn said, “While we have agreed to settle this matter, we do not agree with the government’s assertions; LinkedIn pays and has paid its employees fairly and equitably by comparing similar work. »

LinkedIn, which employs more than 19,000 people globally, reported that last year its female employees earned $0.999 for every dollar earned by its male employees.

While women in the United States are generally paid less than men, LinkedIn is required by a 1965 executive order to provide “equal opportunity” to its employees and cannot make any discrimination based on sex, gender identity or other factors.

“Our agreement will ensure LinkedIn better understands its obligations as a federal contractor,” said Jane Suhr, regional director of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

The settlement includes approximately $1.75 million in back wages and more than $50,000 in interest payable to the women.

LinkedIn also agreed to send reports to the agency over the next three years as it evaluates its compensation policies and makes salary adjustments.

In addition, the company has agreed to set up an employee training program on “non-discrimination obligations”.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January that in 2021, women working full time earned about 83% of what their male counterparts earned.

Tech companies have come under particular scrutiny over what critics see as failures to provide equal opportunities for women and people of color.

In February 2021, Google reached a $3.8 million settlement with the Labor Department amid accusations that its hiring and compensation decisions discriminate against female and Asian employees and applicants.

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