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Vice Media settles gender discrimination lawsuit

Vice Media was once known as a hip and edgy media company, but now accusations of its outdated treatment of women have raised many concerns. According to the Hollywood Reporter, several former female employees accused the company of paying them less than their male counterparts and have now settled a class action suit against Vice.

The man she hired was paid more

Former manager Elizabeth Rose was the first to file suit. Rose alleged she hired a male project manager in 2015 to work on a joint project. She and her male coworker were about the same age and had similar work experience. Then Rose found out the man was making $25,000 more than her, and he was also promoted over her.

Vice alleged used prior salary information

The suit alleged that Vice relied on prior salary history when offering women compensation. Since women have historically been paid less than men, the suit alleged it led to a large gender pay gap at the media company.

After Rose filed suit, several other women came forward and claimed they were paid less too. The class action suit eventually ballooned to some 675 female employees of Vice Media.

During the court case, Vice agreed to provide salary data about employees dating back to 2012. The women then hired a statistician to examine the numbers and look for pay disparities between the genders.

Statistician found a gender gap in pay

The statistician found a wide gap in men and women’s pay at Vice. Women were underpaid between $7 million and $9.74 million. However, when the statistician factored age into the equation, the pay discrepancy total dropped to under $1 million.

“22 Rule” allegedly allowed Vice to pay young workers less

This was likely due to Vice’s practice of hiring young women to save on payroll dollars. According to Fast Company, Vice is alleged to have an unspoken “22 Rule,” which was to hire 22-year-olds, pay them $22,000 and then work them for 22 hours a day.

Though Vice has agreed to settle, this lowered pay discrepancy total means a smaller settlement for the 675 plaintiffs. Vice has agreed to pay $1.875 million. After taking out all the fees, each woman will receive an average payout of just $1,600.

Vice also accused of sexual misconduct

Vice continues to deny there were ever any discriminatory pay policies in place. However, the media company was also accused of rampant sexual misconduct in a New York Times article. After these allegations emerged, Nancy Duboc took control of the company over from founder Shane Smith.

After reaching the settlement, a Vice spokesperson stated management is committed to compensating all employees equally.

Men and women are entitled to equal pay

In California, it is illegal to ask potential employees about their prior salary history. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 also requires that men and women receive equal pay for equal work in the U.S.

Despite the illegality of their actions, many California employers routinely violate these laws. If you have experienced pay discrimination based on your gender or were passed over for a promotion, you can hold your employer accountable for these actions. You do not have to accept less pay for the same work. The law is on your side.

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