Laboratory Corporation of America, the leading health care diagnostics company, recently paid $200,000 in a settlement with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) over gender bias in hiring practices and compensation.
The OFCCP found that LabCorp’s hiring process for lab assistants had a gender bias against female applicants. In addition, OFFCP found that lab assistants who were Asian were paid less than non-Asian, white lab assistants at the company.
The settlement requires LabCorp to pay more than $51,000 in back pay and interest to the affected parties. As lab assistant positions become available, LabCorp will consider qualified female applicants. LabCorp also will provide back pay and interest of almost $150,000 to Asian lab assistants who were allegedly underpaid.
The company also must analyze its pay structure. Should there be any disparities among Asian employees’ salaries, LabCorp must increase their pay.
At face value, the LabCorp settlement is comparatively less than the settlements of other companies that have been subject to OFCCP audits, including those that have reached the multi-millions of dollars. However, the amount of the fine is relative. It’s the message that has significant ramifications. Large or small, OFCCP is focused on raising awareness of pay disparities by gender and race for companies nationwide. The only question you need to ask is whether your company is at risk and what changes you may need to make to your hiring practices and pay structures before it’s too late.