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LinkedIn to Pay $1.8 Million in Back Wages in Gender Discrimination Case


Career-networking service LinkedIn has agreed to pay $1.8 million in back wages to almost 700 female workers to settle a gender discrimination pay complaint.

The U.S. Labor Department announced the settlement. According to a CBS news report, the settlement agreement with LinkedIn resolves allegations of “systemic, gender-based pay discrimination” in which women were paid less than men in comparable job roles.

What The LinkedIn Settlement Agreement Means

This settlement affects women who worked in engineering, product, or marketing roles from 2015 to 2017 at the company’s offices in Northern California – specifically in San Francisco and Sunnyvale. It includes the time before and after Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016. According to the settlement, LinkedIn has denied the pay discrimination, arguing that its statistical models did not identify pay disparities.

However, the Labor Department said its own analysis found significant pay disparities even after “controlling for legitimate explanatory factors.” The agency said this case was sparked by a routine evaluation by its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Under federal law, discriminatory practices at companies contracted by the federal government are prohibited, and LinkedIn is a federal government contractor.

As part of the $1.8 million settlement, LinkedIn will provide back pay plus interest for women working in the engineering, product, and marketing divisions in the Northern California offices. Under the agreement, the company is also required to hold staff training sessions on how to avoid discriminatory practices. It must evaluate its staff salaries over the next three years to ensure gender equity.

Gender Discrimination in Pay

The federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits any type of pay discrimination on the basis of gender. The law is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act and was enacted to bridge the pay gap that existed. Clearly, this disparity still exists today at all levels. The Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the payment of wages or benefits where men and women perform work that involves similar skill, effort, and responsibility for the same employer under similar working conditions. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 and prohibits all forms of employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and gender.

To bring a claim under the Equal Pay Act, the employee must show that a man and woman working at the same place and doing the “substantially same job” or equal work are receiving unequal pay. If you believe you have been discriminated against at work because of your gender, it is important that you contact an experienced employment attorney in California to discuss your legal rights and options.


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