Florida International University has agreed to pay $575,000 in back wages as part of a recently announced agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, which alleged that FIU paid 163 women less than their male counterparts between Aug. 1, 2017, and Aug. 1, 2018.
The alleged pay discrimination was uncovered in a recent compliance review.
“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,” Aida Collins, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Southeast regional director in Atlanta, said in a statement. “We appreciate that Florida International University worked cooperatively with the Department of Labor to resolve our concerns.”
FIU has also 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” the U.S. Department of Labor announced on Wednesday.
Despite the agreement, the university has not publicly admitted to pay discrimination.
“At FIU, we take our commitment to equal employment opportunity seriously and strive to treat our employees fairly,” FIU spokesperson Madelina Baro told Inside Higher Ed by email, adding that the university will pay out the back wages despite disagreeing with the allegations. “This allows us to continue to focus our resources on our mission of excellence in higher education and research. In keeping with the normal course of university business, we will continue to monitor our processes to ensure equal employment opportunities for every employee at FIU.”