Talking Points

Talking Points

Dell EMC agrees to pay over $2.9 million in back wages

Dell EMC VNX computer systems at the company headquarters in Hopkinton.
Dell EMC VNX computer systems at the company headquarters in Hopkinton.


Dell EMC to pay more than $2.9 million in back wages in discrimination case

Dell EMC has agreed to pay more than $2.9 million in back wages for pay discrimination violations at four facilities, according to a settlement reached with the US Department of Labor. The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that the Hopkinton data storage company systematically discriminated against women in marketing and engineering jobs at two California facilities, in addition to underpaying female sales staff at one of those locations; paid women and African-American engineers less than white males in Durham, N.C.; and paid African-American women in manufacturing roles less than white males in Apex, N.C. As part of the agreement, which does not require Dell EMC to admit liability, the company will pay back wages and interest, make wage adjustments, and work to make sure its practices are legal going forward. In a statement, the company said, “Dell has a long-held commitment to pay equity and nondiscrimination in all our employment practices. This matter resolves longstanding audits involving EMC prior to the merger with Dell, and has no relation to current Dell pay practices and policies. Although Dell believes there was no evidence of pay discrimination, we worked with the OFCCP to close out these audits that have been pending for many years.” — KATIE JOHNSTON


Walsh names diversity outreach officer to head Office of Women’s Advancement

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Tuesday the appointment of a new executive director for the Office of Women’s Advancement, which he started four years ago to prioritize advocacy and opportunity for Boston women and girls. Tania Del Rio, currently the city’s diversity outreach officer, is set to take over the top post in the Office of Women’s Advancement in June from current executive director Megan Costello, who is stepping down to pursue a master’s degree in public administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Del Rio will be the first Latina to lead the office. “I’ve always been passionate about the importance of women’s voices, especially women of color, being represented in everything we do,” Del Rio said in a statement. Del Rio, a resident of East Boston, will continue work on paid family leave, child-care affordability, closing the gender wage gap, tackling sex trafficking, and creating programming for women entrepreneurs. Among the Office of Women’s Advancement’s most notable initiatives is the establishment of the “100 Percent Talent Compact,” a first-in-the-nation effort to get companies to pledge to take measurable steps toward closing the pay gap by anonymously providing the city with their demographic and compensation data for analysis every two years. As of April, 223 companies had taken the pledge. Before joining the city as diversity outreach officer, Del Rio, who was born in Mexico City, served as the head of the Citizen Protection and Community Affairs departments at the Mexican Consulate in Boston, and the head of political affairs and press at the Mexican Embassy in Colombia. She has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from New York University and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Del Rio is on the boards of directors of the Veronica Robles Cultural Center, Partakers Inc., and Excel Academy. She writes a column for El Heraldo Latino, a monthly, bilingual newspaper serving East Boston. — KATHELEEN CONTI


Sales rose in April

US retail sales rose at a solid pace in April, a sign that consumers may be rebounding from weak spending earlier this year and driving stronger economic growth. Retail sales increased at a 0.3 percent rate in April, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, down from a 0.8 percent gain in March, which was revised higher from 0.6 percent. The spending gains were spread across most retail categories, with especially big gains at furniture and clothing stores. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Kellogg latest company to pull out of Venezuela


Kellogg Co. said it is closing operations in Venezuela at a time of widespread hunger in the crisis-racked South American nation. The Battle Creek, Mich.-based company said in a statement Tuesday that it ceased operations as a result of continued economic deterioration. Kellogg’s factory in the city of Maracay employs about 550 people who produce 75 percent of the breakfast cereals Venezuelans consume. The company said it looks forward to resuming operations once conditions improve. The company has been making cereal in Venezuela since 1961 and the market had been its biggest in Latin America after Mexico. Kellogg’s joins other multinationals, including Bridgestone, Kimberly-Clark, and General Mills, that have closed or reduced operations in Venezuela amid hyperinflation, shortages, and a recession deeper than the Great Depression of the 1930s. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Walmart ends self-checkout in stores

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Walmart Inc. has ended a service where customers could ring up their own purchases, showing that old habits die hard even in the digital age. The retailer had offered its so-called “Mobile Scan & Go” technology in about 150 Walmart stores after a successful rollout across its Sam’s Club warehouse chain. But while the service worked in Sam’s — which carries fewer products, all of which are prepackaged — it confused some Walmart shoppers, who found that bagging, weighing, and then scanning items including fresh fruit and vegetables was a hassle. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Target cuts next-day delivery fee to lure customers away from Amazon

Target Corp. has taken another step in the escalating home delivery wars, slashing its next-day delivery fee nearly in half as part of a strategy to lure customers away from The retailer said Tuesday it had dropped the delivery price for household essentials to $2.99 from $4.99 and waived it altogether for customers paying with a Target card. The Target Restock service, available to about 75 percent of the US population, lets shoppers get 35,000 everyday items like paper towels and baby food for a flat fee. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Swiss police latest to investigate fiery crashes involving Teslas

Police in southern Switzerland are investigating the death of a German man after a Tesla car he was driving crashed into a guardrail and burst into flames last week. The Bellinzona city fire brigade reportedly pulled from its Facebook page a comment that suggested the vehicle’s lithium ion batteries could have triggered a phenomenon involving a ‘‘rapid and unstoppable increase in temperature’’ before Thursday’s accident. The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating at least two recent fires involving Teslas. Last week the agency opened a probe of a Model S that caught fire after crashing into a wall in Florida. Two 18-year-olds were trapped in the car and died in the flames. The agency also is looking into the performance of the company’s semiautonomous “Autopilot” system after a Tesla Model X SUV crashed into a barrier on a California highway. The driver in that incident died, but Tesla said he was pulled from the vehicle before it caught fire. Police in Utah are looking into a collision involving a Tesla electric car that hit a fire department vehicle over the weekend. The driver told investigators she had the vehicle’s semiautonomous “Autopilot” mode engaged when she slammed into the back of the truck. — ASSOCIATED PRESS