LinkedIn will pay $1.8 million to California women in a pay discrimination settlement

The LinkedIn logo and its stock price on a computer screen.
The LinkedIn settlement affects nearly 700 women who worked at its San Francisco and Sunnyvale offices from 2015 to 2017. Above, the company’s stock price and logo at the New York Stock Exchange.
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

The career-networking service LinkedIn has agreed to pay $1.8 million in back wages to hundreds of female workers in California to settle a pay discrimination complaint brought by U.S. labor investigators.

The U.S. Labor Department announced Tuesday that it has reached a settlement agreement with LinkedIn to resolve 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 from 2015 to 2017 at the company’s offices in San Francisco and Sunnyvale. It includes the time before and after Microsoft’s $26.2-billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016.


LinkedIn issued a statement denying the allegations.

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

In their own words, former Tesla employees describe what they call a racist work environment that led California to file a civil rights lawsuit against the company.

March 25, 2022

The settlement agreement says LinkedIn argued that its statistical models didn’t identify pay disparities. The government said its own analysis found significant pay disparities even after controlling for “legitimate explanatory factors.”

LinkedIn said in its statement that an “equal pay analysis” it conducted last year found that women across its U.S. offices earned 99.9 cents for every $1 earned by men, and employees of color earned $1 for every $1 earned by white employees.

The agency said the case was sparked by a routine evaluation by its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Federal laws ban discriminatory practices at companies that contract with the federal government.

In addition to paying $1.8 million, LinkedIn agreed to train staff to ensure compliance with LinkedIn’s nondiscrimination obligations and to evaluate for the next three years whether its compensation is gender-neutral and make salary adjustments if not.