AT&T agrees to pay $173,000 in back wages after equal pay disparity

AT&T agrees to pay $173,000 in back wages

Telecommunications organisation AT&T has agreed to pay $173,000 (£129,000) and provide other non-cash relief to address pay disparities between male and female employees in California and Nevada with the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

During a routine compliance review, the OFCPP found that, as at 1 February 2019, AT&T paid 27 female employees who worked in manager network services positions less than their male counterparts. While AT&T has not admitted liability in the investigation, the organisation has agreed to an early resolution conciliation agreement and to enhance future compliance proactively.

In addition to pay adjustments, AT&T has agreed to take steps to ensure its pay strategy does not discriminate based on sex, race or ethnicity, disability or protected veteran status. The organisation has agreed to analyse its annual compensation across its whole workforce and will make salary adjustments where necessary.

Craig Leen, programs director at OFCCP, said: “The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ early resolution procedures are designed to enable federal contractors and the department to work together to address and resolve issues efficiently. The cooperative resolution with AT&T is an exemplar of the continued success of OFCCP’s early resolution procedures.”

Jane Suhr, regional director at OFCCP, added: “We acknowledge AT&T’s willingness to quickly address the issues identified by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs through the early resolution procedures, and for taking proactive efforts that will have a positive impact on the organisations’ workforce.”

A spokesperson at AT&T said: “Each year, as part of our pay equity practice, we examine and adjust individual employees’ compensation. We are committed to pay equality– regardless of gender or race or ethnicity, for people who hold the same jobs, have the same experience and performance levels, and work in the same geographic area.

“In this case, a routine audit by the OFCCP found a discrepancy from several years ago that affected a small number of employees in one job title on a regional technical team. We apologise for the error and are providing back pay and additional compensation to these employees.”