Posted On: July 27, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Dell Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $9.1 Million

Computer powerhouse Dell Inc. will pay $9.1 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by two female former employees, Jill Hubley a senior strategist and Laura Guenther a senior manager. U.S. District Judge James R. Nowlin issued a preliminary approval of the settlement in which Dell also agreed to hire an expert psychologist to review its employment practices and a labor economist who may recommend pay adjustments for female employees in some positions.

The lawsuit alleged Dell “systematically denied equal employment opportunities to its female employees” in compensation and promotions and discriminated against women in training, in assignments of positions outside the U.S. and in programs designed to accelerate advancement.

“We’re pleased to have it behind us and to move on,” Dell spokesman David Frink said in a phone interview. “The settlement allows us to focus fuller attention on our already strong diversity and equal opportunity programs.”

In Fiscal Year 2008, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") received 28,372 charges of gender discrimination. The EEOC resolved 24,018 gender discrimination charges in FY 2008 and recovered $109.3 million in monetary benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals. In this case the EEOC was not directly involved however the statistics show how much gender discrimination still exists.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race, color, national origin, and religion. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.

It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of his/her sex in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment. Title VII also prohibits employment decisions based on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals on the basis of sex. Title VII prohibits both intentional discrimination and neutral job policies that disproportionately exclude individuals on the basis of sex and that are not job related.

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