The alleged pay discrimination dates back to at least August 2011, the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs said in a statement. The full settlement document wasn’t immediately available.
The $2 million in lost wages will be paid to employees who worked at Cisco’s San Jose, Calif. location, while the $2.75 million in pay-equity adjustments will be provided to employees nationwide, according to the agency.
“We of course believe in taking accountability to make things right for our employees,” Cisco’s Chief People Officer Francine Katsoudas wrote in a blog post on the settlement. “And we have agreed to pay a total of $2 million to 1,505 Hispanic, African American, and female current and former employees who OFCCP believes were adversely affected in San Jose during that period,”
Katsoudas said the OFCCP’s audit found that “adjustments were needed” at Cisco’s San Jose location, but that audits of 22 other Cisco locations across the country “found no issues.”
Cisco settled the claims through an “early resolution conciliation agreement,” which exempts the company’s U.S. locations from OFCCP audits for five years, as long as it routinely submits hiring, pay, and other employment data to the agency. Time Warner Cable, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and other federal contractors have entered into similar agreements with the office, which enforces equal employment opportunity laws for businesses with federal contracts.
“This agreement ensures that employees from Cisco Systems Inc. are compensated fairly, and will prevent similar issues from happening again at any of its facilities,” Jane Suhr, OFCCP’s Pacific regional director, said in a statement.