Warner Bros. has agreed to pay nearly $144,000 to more than a dozen employees to settle allegations that the studio discriminated against them by failing to pay them fairly, the Labor Department announced Wednesday.
Under the settlement, the studio admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay a total of $143,744 in back wages and interest to 14 women and three minority employees who claimed they were not paid the same as male or white counterparts doing the same work.
The names of the employees were not disclosed.
"These allegations were never proven," said Barbara Brogliatti, a spokeswoman for Warner Bros., which is owned by AOL Time Warner Inc.
Because Warner Bros. is a federal contractor, the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs opened an investigation in November 1999 after receiving complaints from the 17 employees who still work in either managerial, supervisory or administrative positions at the studio's Burbank facility, department spokeswoman Yvonne Ralsky said.
The studio sells movies, videos and DVDs to U.S. military facilities and provides other services to the Armed Forces Radio and Television Services.
Warner Bros. has a $3.7-million contract with the federal government.
The case was the first time Warner Bros. was the subject of a Labor Department review.