Home Depot (HD) will compensate more than three dozen women passed over for employment or given cashiers' jobs while male counterparts landed higher-paying sales jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.
The home improvement retailer agreed to pay $83,400 to 46 female job applicants who were either not hired or who found themselves with cashier's positions instead of sales associate positions at Home Depot's Pomona, California, location.
Government investigators found store managers for years routinely placed equally or more qualified females into cashier positions while male hires were made sales associates with higher pay and promotion opportunities.
"Although we've agreed to a settlement, we're very proud of our track record of hiring and advancing cashiers, both male and female," said Stephen Holmes, a spokesman for the retailer. "In fact, we divide the U.S. into divisions and regions, so a division president is very high up -- three of the only people who get to use the corporate jets, and two of the three are females."
Ann-Marie Campbell, president of the retailer's south division is a woman, and began with Home Depot as a cashier, Holmes said. Campbell in 2014 was listed among the top 50 most powerful women in business by Forbes Magazine, according to her bio on the company's corporate site.
As a federal contractor, Home Depot is required to offer equal opportunities to all job applicants and employees, the Labor Department said. The company has multiple federal contracts worth more than $2 million in total, according to the agency said.
While not admitting liability, as part of the settlement Home Depot agreed to hire or promote five females to sales associate positions.