Google is set to pay $118 million to settle a gender discrimination class action lawsuit that includes about 15,500 women (via Bloomberg). As noted in the settlement press release, Google is also required to have an independent labor economist assess its hiring practices and pay equity studies.
The lawsuit first emerged in 2017 after three women filed a lawsuit accusing the company of underpaying female workers in violation of California’s equal pay law, citing a pay gap of around $17,000. . The complaint also alleges that Google locks women into weaker careers, resulting in lower pay and lower bonuses compared to their male counterparts. The plaintiffs were granted class action status last year.
Google’s treatment of workers has come under scrutiny more than once. Last year Google agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged the company was underpaying female engineers and neglecting Asian applicants. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is also investigating the company over complaints of potential harassment and discrimination against black female employees.
“As a woman who has spent her entire career in the tech industry, I am optimistic that the steps Google has agreed to take in this settlement will ensure more fairness for women,” said Holly. Pease, a plaintiff in the case, in a statement. “Google, since its founding, has led the technology industry. They also have the opportunity to lead the charge to ensure the inclusion and equity of women in technology. »
The terms of the settlement still need to be approved by a judge at a hearing on June 21. Google did not immediately respond to The rodof the request for comments.
A number of similar lawsuits targeting pay gaps have surfaced over the past decade, with gender discrimination class action lawsuits against Microsoft and Twitter failing to gain traction. Oracle is also facing a class action lawsuit alleging unequal pay, but according to Bloomberg Law, the group of women suing the company will likely lose class action status after a judge said a group of 3,000 employees and 125 job classifications would be “unmanageable to go to trial”. Other tech companies, like Apple and Riot Games, have also faced accusations of pay inequality.