You are the CEO of a consulting firm that does a fair amount of business with Fortune 50 and 500 companies. You have about 35 employees working under you who all earn upwards of $200K a year. Unlike most consulting firms, they do not have yearly contracts, but instead are permanent employees of your firm...they have security in their jobs.
One of your most valuable employees, Marilyn, comes to your office. She tells you that even though you've offered her a promotion she is going to decline and move to Texas to be with her husband and his new job he's just been offered. You are sad to see her go, but understand.
Then, 6 months after she's left your firm you get a call from a lawyer. Turns out that Marilyn is going to sue your company for sexual discrimination.
You go to a meeting with Marilyn's lawyer and he lays his cards on the table. You ask him if he is aware that 52% of your employees or currently female and that right now the average salary of a female employee with your firm is actually higher than that earned by the males. The lawyer says he is aware of this.
You ask the lawyer if he really thinks they can win the case.
He says no, he doesn't think they'll win the case.
Frustrated, you then ask him why he is threatening this suit.
He tells you this: Going to court, and winning the suit will set the company back $300K at least. Plus, all of the firm's employees will need to be depositioned, most of the firm's clients will be called in as references. The firm's otherwise spotless reputation would be damaged. They will not only look like a firm that has discriminatory hiring practices, but they will also gain reputation for wasting client time and resources. Marilyn's proposition is that if she is paid $50k she will settle out of court and never tell anyone about the situation.
Do you write the check or not?