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AstraZeneca agrees to give backpay stemming gender and race discrimination investigation

Delaware Public Media

AstraZeneca reaches an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to resolve race and gender-based pay discrimination among U.S. employees.


Between October 2015 and September 2016, the Department of Labor found the company paid a smaller salary than average to 318 female and Hispanic employees across various sales positions.


Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay $560,000 in back pay to those employees.


AstraZeneca is a federal contractor, with it's North American headquarters in Wilmington, and the U.S. had committed $1.2 billion towards the research and production of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine last year, although the vaccine has yet to be approved for use in the U.S..


Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs regional director Michele Hodge says in a statement “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to combating pay discrimination and ensuring fair compensation for all employees.”


Her office didn’t pursue further enforcement because the company agreed to pay the required back pay.


The company also agreed to identify a staff member responsible for ensuring pay equity in its positions, and submit reports to the Department of Labor for the next two years.


Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.


Correction: The pay discrimination happened among employees all across the United States, not just at AstraZeneca's headquarters in Wilmington.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.