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LinkedIn agrees to pay $1.8 million to female workers after the DOL said they were paid less than their male counterparts

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/4/2022 gdean@insider.com (Grace Dean)
LinkedIn has been accused of failing to comply with an Executive Order that prohibits companies from discriminating workers based on gender. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images © Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images LinkedIn has been accused of failing to comply with an Executive Order that prohibits companies from discriminating workers based on gender. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
  • Some female LinkedIn workers in California were paid less than their male counterparts, the DOL said.
  • LinkedIn has agreed to pay $1.8 million to nearly 700 affected workers in a┬áconciliation agreement.
  • But the online-networking company has denied the discrimination claims.

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."

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 weren't paid as much as their male colleagues, according to a DOL statement published on Tuesday.

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.

LinkedIn did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

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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