Google was unable to persuade a judge to block a class-action lawsuit over gender pay disparity. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of 10,800 women who claimed that Google pays men more than women for the same job. A San Francisco state judge certified the class action on Thursday, allowing four lead plaintiffs to represent the women. The case reportedly seeks over $600 million in damages. The women allege that Google violated California's Equal Pay Act.
Kelly Dermody, who is representing the women at Google, welcomed the order and said that she is proud of her brave clients for leading the way. "This order shows that it is critical that companies prioritise paying women equitably over spending money fighting them in litigation," stated Dermody, as mentioned in a report in Bloomberg.
Now that the lawsuit is certified, Dermody said that the next move is to get the case to trial. She expects it to go to trial in 2022.
Google, meanwhile, has said that for the past eight years, it has conducted an analysis to ensure that salaries, bonuses and equity awards were fair. "If we find any differences in proposed pay, including between men and women, we make upward adjustments to remove them before new compensation goes into effect," it said.
The women said that Google paid women employees approximately $16,794 less per year than 'similar-suited man'. They cited an analysis by University of California at Irvine economist David Neumark. Along with salary, women were paid smaller bonuses, and less stock than men in the same job code and location.
The decision follows a similar ruling in a case against Oracle Corp last year. However, the US Supreme Court had earlier blocked 1.5 million female workers at Walmart from pursuing their discrimination claims as a group. Similarly, women engineers at Twitter and Microsoft failed to win a class-action status for the gender-bias cases.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today