Florida International University agrees to pay $575K in back wages, interest to resolve alleged gender pay discrimination
MIAMI – One of the country’s largest public universities has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor in which the employer will pay $575,000 in back wages and interest to resolve alleged pay discrimination identified in a routine compliance review.
The review of Florida International University by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs alleged that, from Aug. 1, 2017, to Aug. 1, 2018, the university paid 163 women employees less than men in similar positions. The institution’s failure violated Executive Order 11246, which forbids federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.
“Employers that hold federal contracts must provide all employees with equal employment opportunities and audit their employment processes to make certain no barriers to equal employment exist,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Southeast Regional Director Aida Collins in Atlanta. “We appreciate that Florida International University worked cooperatively with the Department of Labor to resolve our concerns.”
In addition to paying back wages and damages, the employer agreed to set aside $125,000 for future pay equity adjustments and other pay equity-related activities and to take steps to make sure its compensation practices and policies are free from discrimination. Florida International University entered into an early resolution conciliation agreement to resolve the allegations.
The university provides educational, basic research, research and development, consulting and security services to the federal government. It also holds contracts with the Department of Defense, the Agency for International Development, Department of Commerce, Department of Health and Human Services and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Florida International University is a multi-campus, public university serving South Florida that emphasizes research as a major component in the university’s mission. With a student body of more than 55,000, FIU is among the top 10 largest universities in the nation.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.