Cisco Systems Inc. agreed to pay $2 million in lost wages and interest to affected employees in San Jose, California, and provide at least $2.75 million in pay-equity adjustments to its employees nationwide in the next five years in an early resolution conciliation agreement after the US Department of Labor claimed that, since August 2011, the company paid women, black and Hispanic employees less than comparable male and white employees in similar positions.

As a government contractor, the technology giant is subject to Executive Order 11246, which mandates nondiscriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of US government contractors. Tasked with enforcing that executive order, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, or OFCCP, initiated a claim when a routine compliance evaluation found pay discrimination occurred from at least Aug. 1, 2011.

“This agreement ensures that employees from Cisco Systems Inc. are compensated fairly, and will prevent similar issues from happening again at any of its facilities,” said OFCCP Regional Director Jane Suhr, in San Francisco.

“The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is satisfied that Cisco Systems Inc. has pursued an early resolution conciliation agreement, and addressed compensation equity nationwide,” said Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Craig E. Leen. “OFCCP’s Early Resolution Procedures program helps ensure prompter and broader relief for America’s workforce by allowing contractors facing a potential violation to proactively correct such violations and analyze its pay practices over the next five years to ensure future companywide compliance.”