Vice Media settled a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 675 women who were employed and underpaid at the company between 2014 and 2016, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Vice submitted an agreement to pay out $1.875 million on Monday, amounting to about $1,600 per woman after attorneys fees.
The lawsuit was launched against the company in March of 2018 in Los Angeles and New York, by a former employee named Elizabeth Rose, who alleged that the company was guilty of systematic pay discrimination. The lawsuit alleges that Vice purposely underpaid their female employees, despite similar work experience and job responsibilities.
At the time the lawsuit was filed, Vice was under scrutiny for a number of internal issues, including sexual harassment and a toxic work culture for women employed at the company. Shortly after these stories were published, Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi, the founders of Vice Media, promised pay parity by the end of 2018, and a woman named Nancy Dubuc took over the role of CEO.
The lawsuit reportedly included interviews with 60 witnesses, and anonymized data about salaries at the company. The women suing Vice also hired a statistician to determine whether there was a statistical significance between women and men working at the company. The statistician found that there was as much as a $9,740,000 discrepancy between what men and women were paid at the company, but Vice argued that the difference was less than $1 million.
While the deal reached between Vice and the plaintiffs prevents all involved parties from speaking about the settlement, a representative did give a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Vice’s new management team is committed to maintaining a workplace where all employees are compensated equitably. This is why we provided our employees with the results of the company’s pay equity analysis, and have also settled the Rose case whereby we resolve any claimed historical disparities,” the statement read. “We are dedicated to the equitable treatment of all people and we look forward to the Court’s approval of the settlement so that we can continue to fulfill this mission.”