Dell settles discrimination suit for $US9.1 million

Dell admits to no wrongdoing as part of the settlement

Dell will pay $US9.1 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in which former employees accused the company of sex discrimination, the computer maker said Friday.

Of the total, $US4.5 million will be paid out to the plaintiffs and $US1.1 million will pay their lawyers and other legal costs. The other $US3.5 million will go into a fund for base pay adjustments for current female employees who were part of the suit, subject to an equity review and salary analysis, Dell said.

Under terms of the settlement, Dell admitted no wrongdoing and the parties have agreed to dismiss any pending legal actions, according to a joint statement from Dell and the plaintiffs.

The case was filed in October by former employee Jill Hubley in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. It accused Dell of "systemic company-wide discriminatory treatment of its female employees," according to court documents. Another employee, Laura Guenther, joined the case as a plaintiff.

Hubley was a senior strategist in the learning and development division of human resources between June 2005 and September 2007. She alleged that Dell engaged in gender discrimination over salaries, career opportunities and promotions.

Hubley sought class-action status to cover women who became Dell employees worldwide after Feb. 1, 2003. She sought punitive damages as well as back-pay, front-pay and related benefits for members of the class.

"We're pleased to have settled the issue," David Frink, a Dell spokesman, said via e-mail. "Settling the issue enables Dell to continue to build on strong diversity and equal-opportunity foundation and programs."

Last year Dell was recognized in Diversity's 25 Noteworthy Companies list and Working Mother's 100 Best Companies list, he said.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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