CSX unit underpaid female workers Hunt Valley firm to correct affirmative action violations.


CSX Intermodal, a Hunt Valley transportation company, has agreed for the second time in a year to provide workers with back pay stemming from alleged lapses in the company's affirmative action program.

In the most recent case, announced this week, the company signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to pay $57,000 in back pay to 11 women in managerial, professional and clerical positions who were paid less than the company's minimum for their job categories.

The company said the pay disparity was the result of an administrative error.

Last December, the company agreed to provide 21 women and minority employees $84,638 in back pay. That agreement also called for the company to provide more personnel information, which disclosed the problems that became the subject of the second agreement.

Such agreements are not an admission of wrongdoing, said Jan Ellis, spokeswoman with the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance.

The cases stem from a random audit of the company's personnel practices that began a year ago. The audits test compliance with affirmative action rules governing organizations doing business with the federal government.

Dan Murphy, a spokesman for the company, said, "We do not believe that any laws have been violated, but for the sake of fairness and a quick resolution of this situation we have made the pay adjustments."

The affected workers had been hired at less than the minimum for their job categories with the understanding that they would receive training and that their pay would be brought up to the minimum after a year. In some cases the raises were inadvertently not processed, Murphy said.

"In a few isolated cases, administrative mistakes were made and some of the employees were overlooked," Murphy said.

Ellis said CSX Intermodal has been cooperative during the investigation, which will continue as the company conducts the analysis called for in the second agreement.

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