In May, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced LinkedIn agreed to settle a pay discrimination complaint filed by the government. As a result, the employment-networking online service will pay $1.8 million to nearly 700 female workers based in California.
Labor Department officials say they reached the settlement in response to accusations that the company paid hundreds of women working in marketing, engineering, or product roles less than men. The disparities occurred in the company’s Sunnyvale and San Francisco offices between 2015 and 2017.
DOL and LinkedIn investigations offer conflicting results
Despite the settlement, LinkedIn denies gender pay discrimination exists at the company. Company officials say an internal review found women employees are paid 99 cents for every $1 paid to male employees. However, a DOL review found significant differences in pay even when accounting for legitimate explanations.
Routine monitoring by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs triggered the complaint. Federal rules prohibit companies that are also contractors from having discriminatory policies and practices. LinkedIn also had anti-discrimination policies in place at the time of the complaint.
Breaking down the settlement
The $1.8 million in back pay includes over $50,000 in interest. Here’s how distribution of settlement proceeds will work for the nearly 700 women receiving payments:
- $719,592: Sunnyvale engineering employees
- $370,974: Workers in the Sunnyvale product division
- $424,506: San Francisco marketing employees
- $232,448: Engineers in the San Francisco office
LinkedIn has agreed to provide staff training on avoiding discriminatory practices as part of the settlement. The company must also monitor staff salaries for the next three years to ensure they are gender neutral. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs says these steps will help LinkedIn meet its obligations as a federal contractor.