Bechtel pays out $200,000 to 22 women for discrimination

  • Updated 5 June 2021 

The oil, gas and chemicals subsidiary of American construction and engineering giant Bechtel (BOGC) has entered into a conciliation agreement with the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, agreeing to pay $200,000 in back pay and interest to 22 female employees to resolve pay disparities found by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in a 2013 audit of BOGC’s Houston office. 

The audit found statistically significant disparities on pay disfavouring 12 female employees in the CSA-Engineer Pay Analysis Group, and what Bechtel described as unexplained pay differences between male and female employees affecting 10 other female employees in the Houston office. 

The 10 had the following job titles:     

  • Control Systems Engineer Supervisor II;    
  • Electrical Senior Engineer I;    
  • Project Engineering Senior Engineer I;    
  • Senior Package Equipment Engineer. 

BOGC also agreed to conduct pay analyses in 2021 and 2022 of the impacted positions in the Houston office and to set aside $50,000 for salary adjustments if disparities are found. 

Bechtel told GCR that the conciliation agreement is not an admission of guilt. The company denies that it committed any violation of law but agreed to resolve the OFCCP’s findings through conciliation. 

A Bechtel spokesperson told GCR: "The audit at issue here, performed in 2013, involves a regular review of Bechtel’s Oil, Gas and Chemicals business unit employment practices in the Houston Office for the period from 2011 to 2013. At Bechtel, men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs. We have processes in place to rectify any possible discrepancies. We are committed to actively building a fair, diverse and collaborative work environment."     

  • This article was amended on 5 June 2021 following communication with Bechtel to clarify that the $200,000 was not a fine but the outcome of a conciliation agreement, and that the sum of $50,000 has been set aside to cover any discrepancies found in the upcoming 2021-22 pay analysis.

Image: @GCR illustration by Denis Carrier

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