Labor & Employment Law Daily JP Morgan Chase will pay $9.8M to resolve pay disparities, potentially resulting in 7 audit-free years
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Sunday, November 15, 2020

JP Morgan Chase will pay $9.8M to resolve pay disparities, potentially resulting in 7 audit-free years

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.

Under the early resolution agreement, the employer could avoid audits for five years, plus the two-year waiting period for scheduling new compliance evaluations after the completion of a prior compliance evaluation or conciliation agreement.

Under an early resolution conciliation agreement, JP Morgan Chase & Co. will pay at least $9.8 million, including $800,000 in back pay and interest to 67 eligible litigation class members, and a minimum of $9 million in pay equity adjustments for female and minority employees across its U.S. workforce over the next five years. The agreement resolves allegations that the financial institution violated Executive Order 11246 when it engaged in systemic compensation discrimination against female employees in certain professional positions.

The parties have submitted a consent decree an administrative law judge for approval, according to the OFCCP.

Compliance review finds disparities. An OFCCP compliance review in 2012 found that JP Morgan Chase paid at least 93 females employed within its Investment Bank, Technology & Market Strategies unit less than comparable men employed in the same positions. The federal agency thereafter filed an administrative lawsuit against the financial institution with the DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges in January 2017.

JP Morgan Chase has not admitted liability.

Other provisions. In addition to the back pay and pay equity adjustments, JP Morgan Chase will take other corrective actions to ensure that its compensation practices meet legal requirements. The employer will also conduct annual assessments to ensure pay equity for female and minority employees and meet recordkeeping and reporting requirements. The agreement also includes certain exemptions from Freedom of Information Act procedures.

Exemption from audits. Under the agreement, during an exemption period, the OFCCP will not schedule any JP Morgan Chase Functional Affirmative Action Plan or Affirmative Action Plan establishment for a compliance evaluation, corporate management compliance evaluation, or any other neutrally scheduled review, including a compliance review, compliance check, focused review, or offsite review of records.

The exemption period is a five-year period, plus the two-year waiting period that the OFCCP has for scheduling new compliance evaluations after the completion of a prior compliance evaluation or conciliation agreement.

“This settlement is a strong resolution to this matter, providing corporate-wide prospective relief to not only the litigation class members, but also to employees at every level throughout the company,” said OFCCP Director Craig E. Leen in Washington, D.C.

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