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Women employees at Google faced pay-discrimination worth thousands of dollars, alleges lawsuit

The lawsuit against Google for pay discrimination has been going on since 2017. Google sought to dismiss the case but a judge denied the request in 2018.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | July 23, 2020 | Updated 12:08 IST

Highlights

  • Google has been facing a lawsuit for alleged pay discrimination to women employees.
  • According to the lawsuit, women were consistently pushed into lower-level job tracks and paid less than men with similar job descriptions.
  • The women in the filing said that Google paid women approximately $16,794 less per year than "the similarly-situated man."

Four women employees from Google are trying to represent 10,000 of their peers in a gender-pay disparity suit against the company. The women in the filing said that Google paid women approximately $16,794 less per year than "the similarly-situated man," Bloomberg noted. "Google paid women less base salary, smaller bonuses, and less stock than men in the same job code and location," the women said.

The lawsuit against Google for pay discrimination has been going on since 2017. Google sought to dismiss the case but a judge denied the request in 2018. A class certification hearing is slated for December 2.

James Finberg, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the case told the Guardian: "Google has a pattern and practice of channeling women with comparable education and experience into lower-salary levels."

Google's job classification system tasks employees with different responsibilities and are paid accordingly. As per this system, workers in the same job family are those who do similar jobs but are arranged at different levels of capabilities or skill sets. Thus, different levels come with different salaries. According to the lawsuit, women were consistently pushed into lower-level job tracks and paid less than men with similar job descriptions.

David Neumark, a University of California Irvine distinguished professor of economics, through a study in the lawsuit revealed some systemic discriminations. The discovery process showed that 49 per cent of people hired as Level 2 software engineers but the percentage reduced for higher-level positions. It was 22 per cent for Level 3, 14.2 per cent for Level 4, and 7.2 per cent for Level 5.

The women employees at Google facing pay discrimination include coders, teachers, and the in-house childcare department as per reports.

According to the lawsuit, the pay differences by Google violate California's Equal Pay Act. The lawsuit also states that Google also violated the state's Unfair Competition Law with a policy from 2011 to 2017 of asking job candidates for prior salaries, perpetuating lower pay and seniority for women.

As per reports, the women filing the lawsuit want a California Super judge to let them sue the company on behalf of all the employees who have worked at Google in California since September 14, 2013.

Eileen Naughton, Vice President, People Operations for Google told Bloomberg: "If we find any differences in proposed pay, including between men and women, we make upward adjustments," Naughton said. "Last year, we made upward adjustments for 2% of employees, across every demographic category, totaling $5.1 million." Naughton further said that the claims in the case were unfounded and that Google would defend its practices.

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