Former employees sue Google for gender discrimination

Google logo on office building in Irvine California

Google Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over Gender Discrimination

The class-action complaint, filed in San Francisco, included three named plaintiffs who offered specific stories of Google "assigning and keeping female employees in lower compensation levels than male employees with similar skills, experience, and duties".

According to the complaint filed by Ellis, Pease, and Wisuri, Google's compensation and promotion policies violate the California Equal Pay Act and demonstrate "willful" discrimination by channeling women into lower-paying job classifications and ladders.

The plaintiffs in Thursday's lawsuit are the former Google software engineer, a former communications specialist and a former manager who worked in various roles at the Mountain View, California-based company. Women should have the same opportunities as men, and receive equal pay for substantially similar work, Wisuri said in a statement announcing the suit. The U.S. Department of Labor is now investigating the company's pay practices as a result of a routine audit that started in 2015.

OFCCP's analysis showed six to seven standard deviations between pay for men and women in almost every job classification in 2015.

In April, the Labor Department's regional director Janette Wipper testified in federal court that Google engaged in "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce".

The women behind the lawsuit seek class-action status to cover all women employed by the tech firm in the past four years.

IN recent months, tech giant Google has been facing problems over treatment towards its female workers amid a media firestorm that has stirred larger debate about gender bias in the male-dominated tech industry.

Ellis says that when she was first hired, Google placed her in a "Level 3" job, typically reserved for hires straight out of college. "In relation to this particular lawsuit, we'll review it in detail, but we disagree with the central allegations", Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said.

"There is a false and gendered perception at Google that backend engineering is more technically rigorous, and therefore more prestigious, than frontend software engineering", the complaint states.

Google is just one example of how women throughout Silicon Valley are routinely undervalued and excluded from opportunities. The suit also requests Google to stop paying their female employees less than male employees. Despite overseeing 50 staff across multiple teams and boasting ten years' experience as a network engineer before Google, she was considered to be a "non-technical" employee, which limited her pay.

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