An agreement issued in early May between LinkedIn and the U.S. Department of Labor will result in the social media company paying $1.8 million in back pay and interest to female employees in California who alleged that their pay practices discriminated against them. A routine compliance investigation found that between 2015 and 2017, LinkedIn did not offer equal pay to many women at its San Francisco and Sunnyvale facilities.
Female employees paid significantly less
Federal evaluators found that 686 female employees in those facilities received pay at a statistically lower rate than their male counterparts when they reviewed evidence that included employment policies and records, interviewed management and staff, along with the company’s compensation system. Even when legitimate factors were present, the DOL still found that pay discrimination claims were valid. LinkedIn disagreed with the claim, saying that it uses local and function-based competitive market data to develop pay ranges.
Several laws prohibit pay discrimination against women and minorities. These include the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, federal contractors must comply with Executive Order 11246, prohibiting employment and pay discrimination.
Unfair pay lawsuits also occurring in less visible companies
While high-profile cases like LinkedIn and the settlement of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team’s claim of gender-based discrimination against the United States Soccer Federation, less visible companies have also been charged with unfair wage practices and have lost.
The gender pay gap has remained relatively steady since 1984, with women earning approximately 80% to 83% of the wages that their male counterparts earn. However, those statistics don’t fully consider job skills and responsibilities, work experience and specialization that could explain wage differences.
Nevertheless, wage discrimination is a common occurrence in many businesses in California, no matter what their size. If you feel you’re unfairly earning less than a male co-worker, gather as much evidence as possible against your employer. You may have a valid claim to press suit for pay discrimination and fair back wages.