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Google pays $118 million for gender discrimination suit

A class-action gender discrimination case involving 15,500 women has been settled for $118 million by Google. According to the settlement news release, Google must also have an outside labour economist assess its recruiting procedures and pay equity studies.

Three women filed a complaint in 2017 alleging that the corporation was underpaying female employees in violation of California’s Equal Pay Act, claiming a salary disparity of about $17,000. In addition, the lawsuit claims that Google places women in lower-paying career paths than males, resulting in lesser salaries and incentives. Last year, the plaintiffs were successful in obtaining class-action status.

More than time, Google’s handling of its employees have been questioned. Google agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the corporation underpaid female engineers and ignored Asian employment candidates last year. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is also looking into allegations of harassment and discrimination against Black female workers at the corporation.

Google Agrees to Pay $118 Million to Settle Pay Discrimination Case - The  New York TimesGoogle is not facing this for the first time.

 This isn’t the first time Google has been chastised for its supposed anti-discrimination measures. The company paid the US Department of Labor $3.8 million in 2021 in response to allegations of discrimination against Asians and women.

Things seem to be improving, as Google has chosen to perform “rigorous investigation” to guarantee fairness in all jobs.

Details of the case.

Former workers Heidi Lamar, Kelly Ellis, Kelli Wisuri, and Holly Pease filed a complaint in September 2017. It stated that Lamar, a Google children’s centre instructor, was paid $18.51 per hour. Her male equivalent, who had fewer credentials, received $21.

Furthermore, Google was accused last year of paying its female employees $17,000 less per year than their male counterparts for the same job.

The gender discrimination class-action lawsuit was filed in 2017. Google must also hire an impartial labour economist to assess its recruiting practices and pay equality research.

“In addition to monetary compensation, the settlement mandates that an independent third-party expert examine Google’s leveling-at-hire processes and that an impartial labor economist examine Google’s pay equity studies,” plaintiffs’ law firms said in a statement. Over the following three years, an external Settlement Monitor will oversee the post-settlement activity.

Google agrees to pay $118 million to settle gender discrimination lawsuit -  Times of IndiaAccording to the complaint, the plaintiff thinks these programs “will assist guarantee that women are not paid less than their male counterparts who accomplish substantially identical work and that Google’s disputed leveling procedures are fair,” according to the complaint.

Ellis worked as a Software Engineer in Google’s Mountain View headquarters for four years, rising to the position of Senior Manager before leaving.

Wisuri worked for around 2.5 years at its Mountain View headquarters in different positions. Pease worked for nearly 10.5 years in both Mountain View and Sunnyvale, holding multiple technical leadership responsibilities.

Plaintiff Lamar worked at Google’s Children Center in Palo Alto for four years as a Preschool Teacher and Infant/Toddler Teacher.

What did the plaintiff say?

“As a woman who has spent her entire career in the computer business, I am hopeful that the changes Google has committed to do as part of this settlement will guarantee greater parity for women,” Plaintiff Holly Pease stated. “Since its inception, Google has been at the forefront of the technology sector. They also have the chance to lead the movement for women’s inclusion and equality in the digital industry.”

What is a Civil Lawsuit? (Why You May Need to File a Case)“Plaintiffs believe this resolution improves gender parity at the company and will establish precedent for the industry,” said plaintiffs’ co-counsel Kelly Dermody.

“Google has always been at the forefront of technology. “We are thrilled that the company is reaffirming its commitment to be a leader in achieving pay equality and fair employment opportunities for all of its workers in this Settlement Agreement and Order,” stated Plaintiffs’ co-counsel, Jim Feinberg.

What does Google say in this case?

“While we strongly believe in the equity of our policies and practices,” a spokesperson told Insider, “after nearly five years of litigation, both sides agreed that resolution of the matter, without any admissions or findings, was in everyone’s best interest, and we’re very pleased to reach this agreement.”

“We are completely dedicated to paying, employing, and leveling all workers fairly and equitably, and we have conducted a comprehensive pay equity review for the previous nine years to ensure that wages, bonuses, and equity awards are equitable.”

According to the spokesman, the company made $4.4 million in raises for 2,352 workers last year and will continue to do “rigorous analysis” to guarantee fairness in all roles.

“We’re thrilled to have an adviser review these procedures and give suggestions for future improvement,” they stated.


Aside from the settlement, Google promised to provide all relevant data to an impartial expert who would investigate employment procedures. Third, an outside labour economist will review Google’s pay equality research.

How to remove Google from your life | Malwarebytes Labs“As a woman who has spent her entire career in the tech business, I’m hopeful that the changes Google has committed to do as part of this settlement will guarantee greater parity for women,” one of the plaintiffs, Holly Pease, said in a statement.

This is just coincidental. However, this occurred the same day a court in another long-running Oracle Corp. lawsuit provisionally decertified its class-action status. If you’re unfamiliar, we’re talking about a suitcase containing almost 3,000 individuals in 125 job categories.

In the instance of Google, women are employed in 236 different positions. However, it’s worth noting that similar cases filed against Twitter Inc. and Microsoft Corp. were denied class-action status.

A preliminary approval hearing has been scheduled for June 21. A judge will make the ultimate judgment only after that.

Several more cases aimed at closing salary discrepancies have appeared in the previous decade, but class-action gender discrimination litigation against Microsoft and Twitter has stalled. According to Bloomberg Law, Oracle also faces a class-action lawsuit claiming variable compensation. Still, the women suing the corporation will likely lose class-action status after a judge declared a class of 3,000 workers and 125 job categories would be “unmanageable to continue to trial.” Other major firms, such as Apple and Riot Games, have also been accused of salary disparity.

Edited by Prakriti Arora



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