- Deloitte Services LP will pay $275,000 in back pay and interest to 34 female employees in technology services to resolve U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) allegations of wage discrimination at a Tennessee worksite. Deloitte Services LP provides internal support to Deloitte LLP, a nationwide provider of audit, consulting, tax and advisory services, according to DOL. The federal contractor has denied the agency's allegations, according to the Nov. 5 announcement.
- The alleged pay discrepancies were discovered during a routine compliance review by DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). OFCCP found that Deloitte Services LP paid female employees in technology services in Hermitage, Tennessee, less than male employees. OFCCP also found that the federal contractor "failed to adequately evaluate female placement rates into certain positions there and at an Atlanta, Georgia, location.
- The employer also agreed to ensure that its compensation policies and pay procedures are free from discrimination and to provide training to all managers, supervisors and other officials who oversee pay decisions for the Tennessee and Georgia locations.
Pay parity — and the lack thereof — has emerged as a hot button issue in employment and employer culture. Employers can undertake various analyses to examine the issue. Controlled audits, for example, account for factors including job title, industry, job location, education and experience, WorldatWork's Director of Executive Compensation Strategy Sue Holloway previously told HR Dive in an interview. When these factors are taken into account, pay inequity gaps may still exist, but they will likely be smaller than an uncontrolled analysis would produce.
Tech companies in particular have made headlines, both for accusations of pay inequality and for attempting to correct pay disparities. Dell EMC paid $2.9M to settle gender and race pay discrimination charges in 2018. The subsidiary agreed to the settlement to resolve allegations of pay inequality at four locations in California and North Carolina after OFCCP concluded it discriminated against women in engineering, manufacturing, marketing and sales roles and that it paid women and Black employees less than White men. The company denied liability.
Other tech companies haven’t shied away from grappling with the issue. Salesforce said it conducted an equal pay assessment in 2015 and in 2017 and found that pay for both men and women needed adjusting so it spent $6 million to correct the issue and said it would continue to monitor the situation. GoDaddy said in December 2019 that it had achieved pay parity between men and women in similar roles for the fifth year in a row.
HR can review compensation policies and practices and work with supervisors to identify disparities and conduct regular pay audits. Experts suggest that the audits be conducted with the assistance of counsel to ensure the information remains privileged.
In addition to pay audits, there is a movement away from using salary history in determining compensation. Many state legislatures and municipalities have determined that use of prior pay as a benchmark for salary creates and perpetuates lower pay based on gender and race and have passed laws making it an unlawful employment practice for employers to consider prior salary history when making an offer.