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Pay equity: Closing the gap

Banks face lawsuits over pay inequity as regulators now take diversity into their own hands.

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It was so quiet that it almost passed me by: the announcement in October that, after losing an appeal, JPMorgan Chase is now facing a lawsuit from the US Labor Department for paying female employees less than men.

The dispute is to be decided by an administrative judge.

Although not widely reported, the case has been a thorn in JPMorgan’s side since it was approached by the Department in 2015 with findings that, since 2012, the bank had paid 93 women in four categories (including project management and technology) less than male colleagues in the same roles. 

Seemingly, a correction was unforthcoming. According to the National Law Journal, the complaint seeks, among other things, an injunction barring JPMorgan from discriminating against female employees and demands lost pay and salary adjustments for the affected workers.

Jamie Dimon’s firm is not alone in getting slapped down for pay inequality. In October, State Street agreed to pay $5 million to settle allegations (again from the US Labor Department) that the bank underpaid its female and black executives compared with male and white employees in the same positions.

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