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BP pays $5.4M to settle gender bias claims

WASHINGTON — Oil giant BP is paying $5.4 million to settle claims that some of its contractors refused to hire women to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the agreement with BP Exploration & Production Inc. covers female workers in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

There has been no official finding that BP violated anti-discrimination laws during the 2010 oil spill and the company denies that it committed any wrongdoing.

Under the settlement, BP will require its contractors to abide by equal opportunity laws and designate an employee to monitor the terms of the agreement with the government. It also will partner with other companies in the industry to make sure anti-discrimination laws are followed even during emergencies.

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