AstraZeneca will pay $560,000 in back pay and interest to 318 employees
During a routine compliance evaluation, the OFCCP found that, from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, AstraZeneca paid 23 Hispanic females in primary care sales representative level 3 positions and 295 females in specialty care sales representative level 4 positions a base salary less than similarly situated employees. To resolve the alleged pay discrimination at its North American commercial headquarters in Wilmington, DE, AstraZeneca entered into a conciliation agreement (CA) and agreed to pay $560,000 in back pay and interest to the 318 employees.
The company also agreed to discontinue any discriminatory pay practices immediately, identify an individual responsible for future monitoring and enforcement, train all of its personnel involved in determining base salaries, and submit progress reports with compensation data for at least two years.
This is another conciliation agreement based on a compliance evaluation begun during the Obama administration. The agreement also involves an instance of “intersectionality”—that is, discrimination against Hispanic Females. And as is typical of the OFCCP’s conciliation agreements involving alleged discrimination, there is no indication of what pattern or practice of behavior led to the alleged compensation discrimination.
AstraZeneca’s “compensation practices” are not described by the OFCCP. Instead, AstraZeneca is simply instructed to “…immediately eliminate compensation practices that negatively affect the compensation of female Specialty Care Sales Representative Level 4…and [Hispanic Female] Primary Care Sales Representative Level 3 employees and consider alternative practices.” Alternative to what, of course, is not mentioned.
What the agency apparently means by this is simply differences in pay. No “practice” is identified, no allegation that Females or Hispanic Females with equal experience or education were hired to these positions at lower rates of pay than Males, no claim that Females or Hispanic Females with similar performance didn’t receive similar increases in pay as Males, or any other practice that might have led to pay differences genders and ethnicities.
This agreement illustrates the value of doing proactive pay equity analyses to reduce risks and costs, and more importantly, to ensure that organizations compensate people equitably for similar work. Organizations who would like additional information on OutSolve’s Pay Equity Analysis, or other compliance services, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-414-2410.