RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Cisco has agreed to pay some $2 million in “lost wages and interest” and another $2.75 million to address “pay-equity adjustments” to settle a federal job discrimination case dating back to August 2011.

The $2 million will go to “affected employees” in San Jose, Calif., according to the US Department of Labor. More than 1,500 workers were involved, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

The remaining money will be spread across “pay-equity adjustments” nationall over the next five years, the government added.

Cisco “paid women, black and Hispanic employees less than comparable male and white employees in similar positions,” the labor department said.

“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 Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Regional Director Jane Suhr, in San Francisco.

In a statement, Cisco  Chief People Officer Francine Katsoudas noted:

“We of course believe in taking accountability to make things right for our employees. Since 2011, we have changed many of our practices. One of the biggest changes we’ve made is to have open and transparent conversations about what’s working and not working.”

A federal audit of 22 other Cisco sites in the U.S.” found no issues,” the newspaper added.

Cisco operates one of its largest campuses in RTP.

Read the labor department announcement online.