AstraZeneca wraps up pay-discrimination suit for $250K

AstraZeneca ($AZN) has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a pay-discrimination lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Labor. In resolving the suit, which alleged the company paid female sales people salaries that were an average of $1,700 lower than their male colleagues' pay, the company will allocate that $250,000 among 124 women.

The settlement has been a long time coming. The Labor Department's compliance division found pay discrepancies at the company's Philadelphia Business Center back in 2002 during a scheduled compliance review required for all government contractors (the company had a $2 billion supply deal with the Department of Veterans Affairs).

Now, the company has agreed to fork over the $250,000 and enter into a consent decree requiring it to analyze the pay packages of 415 full-time reps in 14 states, including Pennsylvania. If the analysis turns up more underpaid women, the company will adjust their salaries. "We look forward to working with the company's management to make sure this does not happen again to anyone who works for AstraZeneca," the Labor Department's Patricia Shiu said in a statement.

AZ spokesman Tony Jewell told the AP the company didn't admit any wrongdoing, but settled the dispute to avoid further legal wrangling. "We are confident that our compensation practices then and now are fair and non-discriminatory--and this settlement supports our position," the company said in a statement sent to Pharmalot.

- see the Labor Department release
- check out the AP story
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