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AstraZeneca pays out in discrimination case

AstraZeneca has been found to have paid female sales representatives on average $1,700 less than their male counterparts

AstraZeneca (AZ) has been ordered to pay $250,000 to 124 women that were subjected to pay discrimination while working at its Philadelphia Business Center in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

The action resolves a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor in May 2010 alleging that the company discriminated against female sales specialists by paying them salaries that were, on average, $1,700 less than their male counterparts.

In addition, the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs  (OFCCP) conducted a scheduled compliance review of the business centre in 2002 and found that AZ had violated failed to meet its obligations as a federal contractor to ensure employees were paid fairly without regard to sex, race, colour, religion and national origin.

Patricia A Shiu, OFCCP director and a member of President Obama's National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, said: "I am glad AstraZeneca finally has agreed to pay its employees what they've earned. More importantly, we look forward to working with the company's management to make sure this does not happen again."

The company has agreed to work with OFCCP to conduct a statistical analysis of the base pay of 415 individuals employed full-time as 'primary care' and 'speciality care' level III pharmaceutical sales specialists in Alabama, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. If the analysis finds that female employees continue to be underpaid, the company will adjust salaries.

7th June 2011

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