LinkedIn’s settlement affects nearly 700 female employees who worked in various departments at the company’s San Francisco and Sunnyvale offices between 2015 and 2017.

LinkedIn has agreed to pay $1.8 million (roughly Rs. 13 crores) in back wages to hundreds of female employees in order to settle a pay discrimination complaint brought by US labour investigators.

The US Labor Department announced on Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with LinkedIn to settle allegations of “systemic, gender-based pay discrimination” in which women were paid less than men in comparable job roles.

The settlement affects nearly 700 women who worked in engineering, product, or marketing roles at the company’s San Francisco and Sunnyvale, California offices from 2015 to 2017. It includes the period preceding and following Microsoft’s $26.2 billion (approximately Rs. 2,00,380 crore) acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016.

“While we have agreed to settle this matter,” LinkedIn said in a statement, “we do not agree with the government’s claims; LinkedIn pays and has paid its employees fairly and equitably when comparing similar work.”

According to the settlement agreement, LinkedIn claimed that its statistical models failed to detect pay disparities. According to the government, even after controlling for “legitimate explanatory factors,” there are significant pay disparities.

The case was sparked by a routine evaluation by the agency’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, according to the agency. Discriminatory practices are prohibited under federal law in companies that do business with the federal government.

According to two people familiar with the matter and emails seen by Reuters, Google faced a similar complaint against pay disparity last year when California’s civil rights regulator was investigating the company’s treatment of Black female workers following alleged incidents of harassment and discrimination.

According to the documents and sources, attorneys and analysts at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) had repeatedly interviewed several Black women who had worked at the Alphabet-owned company about their experiences there.

According to the emails, the concerns have centred on alleged workplace harassment and discrimination. The DFEH did not respond to a request for comment.

Google stated that it is committed to “building sustainable equity” for its Black employees and that 2020 will be its busiest year for hiring what it refers to as “Black+” workers, a designation that includes people of multiple races.

“Our goal is to ensure that every employee has an inclusive experience at Google,” the company stated. “We will continue to focus on this critical work and thoroughly investigate any concerns in order to ensure that our workplace is representative and equitable.”