LexisNexis Settles Pay Bias Claims for Over $1.2M

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By Kevin McGowan

LexisNexis Risk Solutions will pay more than $1.2 million to settle a Labor Department complaint it violated federal contractor anti-discrimination rules by paying women less than men performing the same jobs.

Under two conciliation agreements announced Jan. 12, LexisNexis will distribute $1.2 million in back pay and interest to 211 female employees in two locations. It also will pay more than $45,000 to adjust the salaries of women working as operational leaders at its Boca Raton, Fla., facility.

The legal and business information company will conduct an annual compensation analysis at Boca Raton and its Alpharetta, Ga., facility.

Lexis-Nexis has millions of dollars in federal contracts with the departments of Labor, Homeland Security, Justice and Transportation as well as the Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration, according to the Labor Department.

Executive Order 11,246 bars federal contractors from compensation discrimination based on sex. During the Obama administration, the Labor Department has put special emphasis on combating the gender pay gap.

The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs routinely examines contractors’ compensation systems during its audits to ensure employees doing the same jobs aren’t being paid differently based on sex, race or other prohibited basis.

No Admission of Liability

In a Jan. 12 statement, LexisNexis denied any wrongdoing and said it settled to avoid the time and expense of extended legal proceedings.

“The OFCCP’s findings were not based on any individual complaints; rather they were derived from statistical analysis conducted by the agency,” LexisNexis said. “The company disagrees with the OFCCP’s findings and does not believe it violated any federal laws.”

Sex-Based Pay Disparities

Two separate OFCCP investigations found that as far back as December 2012, LexisNexis paid women in operational leadership jobs “substantially less” than men in those jobs.

The sex-based pay disparities affected 26 female operational leaders in Boca Raton and 185 female operational leaders in Alpharetta, the department said.

The OFCCP found significant differences in pay between men and women doing the same jobs even after accounting for legitimate, sex-neutral factors that affect pay, the department said.

“Through this settlement, the affected class members will be compensated for their losses,” Acting OFCCP Director Thomas Dowd said in a statement Jan. 12. “We are pleased the contractor worked cooperatively with us and has agreed to review and revise pay policies and procedures as necessary.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin McGowan in Washington at kmcgowan@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Christopher Opfer at copfer@bna.com

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