On August 3rd, ESRI, a geographic information system software company headquartered in Redlands, CA, entered a $2.3 Million conciliation agreement with the U.S Department of Labor. The OFCCP alleged that from January 1st to December 31st of 2017, ESRI “systematically discriminated against 143 female software development engineers and 33 female quality assurance engineers” at its headquarters by paying them less than men in similar roles. In addition to the backpay and interest, ESRI has agreed to review and revise their overall compensation system, provide management training, and conduct annual compensation analyses.
ESRI is among other software companies that have recently settled on gender discrimination cases. Pay equity continues to be a hot topic and a top priority for many enforcement agencies, and the OFCCP under the Biden administration has made clear that compensation is their top priority. Organizations are encouraged to take pay equity, equal opportunity, hiring and promotional analyses seriously. More often than not, disparity is the result of unintended consequences of well-intended policies and procedures. Without thoughtful investigation of equity concerns by qualified experts, many organizations may be subject to similar findings by the DOL, EEOC, or other regulatory agencies.