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September 28, 2004
Wachovia to Pay $5.5M to Settle Bias in Pay Charges

Wachovia Corporation, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle Department of Labor allegations that the company discriminated against 2,021 current and former female employees in its compensation practices.

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After a corporate management review of the headquarters of federal contractor First Union National Bank in Charlotte, North Carolina, investigators from the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) accused the company of engaging in compensation discrimination against females. First Union National Bank subsequently merged with Wachovia Corporation.

The Wachovia case, filed in August 2001, is the first class compensation case filed by the department in a quarter-century.

Under the terms of the settlement, Wachovia will pay 2,021 current and former female employees $5,500,000 in back pay and interest. The back pay amount is the fifth largest settlement ever under Executive Order (EO) 11246, which prohibits discriminatory employment policies for federal contractors.

The company has also agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure lawful compensation practices for three years and will correct any statistically significant disparities which are found to be adverse to women employees. In addition, Wachovia will ensure compliance with EO 11246 recordkeeping requirements.

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