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Lawsuit Accuses Google Of Gender Wage Gap, Segregation

A class-action lawsuit filed by three former Google employees alleges that the search giant pays women less than men for similar work, and segregates them into front-end (women) or back-end (men) jobs with different pay ceilings. Combined, these factors are said to limit women's ability to move up the corporate ladder at Google, or even simply to receive the same level of compensation as their male counterparts.

The employees' attorneys set up a website devoted to this lawsuit. On it, they summarized the complaint filed in San Francisco on Thursday:

The lawsuit alleges a continuing policy, pattern, and practice on the part of Google of sex discrimination against female employees, with respect to performance evaluations, pay, promotions, and other terms and conditions of employment. The complaint notes that the net result of this systemic discrimination is that Google pays women less than men for comparable work.

Those practices would violate California laws concerning gender-based discrimination. They would also undermine claims that Google specifically, and Silicon Valley generally, is a strict meritocracy. Instead, it would seem that the tech industry carries the torch of misogynistic policies kindled by many other industries before it. (All of this, of course, is assuming that the allegations are accurate. That's up to a judge and potentially a jury to decide.)

This isn't the first time someone has complained about gender discrimination at Google. The U.S. Department of Labor is currently investigating the company's pay practices as a result of a routine audit that started in 2015. Google originally supported the Department of Labor's efforts, but as the department requested more information, the company stopped cooperating. Now the two are waging a public relations battle.

In a series of tweets, one of the former employees filing the lawsuit, Kelly Ellis, said that although the lawsuit is about gender discrimination, it "isn't just about women" and is "not just about Google." Her goal for the lawsuit is not just to make Google change its pay practices; instead, she said she wants "to force not only Google, but other companies to change their practices and compensate EVERYONE fairly." (Emphasis hers.)

You can read the full lawsuit here. It was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday, and its filers want the case to head to a jury trial. We expect to hear more about this lawsuit in the future as Google and the tech industry at large grapple with allegations of wage discrimination, regardless of its cause. In the meantime, Google is denying these allegations, as the company told Bloomberg:

“Job levels and promotions are determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees, and must pass multiple levels of review, including checks to make sure there is no gender bias in these decisions,” company spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said in an e-mailed statement. “And we have extensive systems in place to ensure that we pay fairly.”

  • Gam3r01
    The first sign of an unprofessional lawsuit is posting about it on social media, tweeting about your class action lawsuit is just pitiful.
    Reply
  • Zaporro
    lol another one of these SJW bullshits
    Reply
  • derekullo
    I should file an opposing lawsuit for young white males.

    Whenever I'm at Bestbuy, in casual clothing, looking at OLED's people automatically assume I know tech and ask about the difference between OLED and QLED or which router to choose or i7 / Ryzen.

    I do explain the difference in detail, but when they ask to check out I have to inform them that I don't work here.

    This is also a form of gender discrimination.

    Any other person at Bestbuy, including female personnel, could have answered there questions.

    As for the alleged pay gap, if you accepted the pay to get the job why should it matter how it compares to what others are making?

    If I applied for a job for $40 an hour and I felt I deserved to be paid $40 it wouldn't bother me in the slightest of my coworker was paid $45 an hour.

    If I applied for that same job and they offered me $30 an hour and I felt I deserved to be paid $40 I would counter offer with $40 an hour and if they refused I would keep looking for another job that is a better use of my time.

    I wouldn't take the hypothetical $30 an hour then create a website showcasing how others which happen to be of a different sex/gender make more than I do because I fail at negotiating.

    If you feel you aren't getting the pay or promotions you deserve then discuss it with your manager and work out a solution or walk away and find a company that respects your abilities.
    Reply
  • mrmez
    Heard they're going to have a female James Bond.
    They're calling her 00 70 cents on the dollar.
    Reply
  • therealduckofdeath
    Oh no, there's a white guy above who's been discriminated against! Let's focus on fixing his problems first, to keep the status quo.
    Reply
  • AnimeMania
    20178085 said:
    I should file an opposing lawsuit for young white males.

    Whenever I'm at Bestbuy, in casual clothing, looking at OLED's people automatically assume I know tech and ask about the difference between OLED and QLED or which router to choose or i7 / Ryzen.


    If I applied for a job for $40 an hour and I felt I deserved to be paid $40 it wouldn't bother me in the slightest of my coworker was paid $45 an hour.


    Are you sure you were giving off young white males vibes and not nerdy geek vibes?

    It is fine to pay people whatever you want when they are starting, but once they have been there a while and you know they can do the job and are staying, you should standardize the pay. It is cheaper than the lawsuits and bad press, especially for Corporations. If you want to discriminate use bonuses and company perks.

    20177462 said:
    The first sign of an unprofessional lawsuit is posting about it on social media, tweeting about your class action lawsuit is just pitiful.

    I wonder if you google "Google" and "lawsuit" would this story pop up?
    Reply
  • coolitic
    This irony of this lawsuit is hilarious.
    Reply
  • Morbus
    How dare these SJWs try to fix socially unjust problems?! I'm so freaking tired of hearing people complain they're treated unjustly, why can't just shut up and be happy with what they have?!
    Reply
  • brian.h.schaefer
    I am a little confused? What do they mean by "front-end" and "back-end"? Considering this is Google I would think of these terms being used for developers. The statistics show that women are more prevelant in the front-end side of development, as opposed to backend development. Backend developers also, on average, make more money than front-end developers do.

    Maybe my assumptions are completely wrong, I have no idea.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    Google hires mostly engineers, even for business rolls. They prefer to promote engineers than pull some harvard grad out of business school to manage. The problem is, women only make up about 13% of engineers at best, and that's even including the pseudo-engineering like physics and biology, which are natural sciences, not necessarily engineering. In reality, I graduated in a class with about 500 engineers, and in my class, we had like 6 girls. Women are an extreme minority in engineering. When competing for promotions against so many men in the same field, who may actually be more qualified for the position. Yea, promotions will be harder to come by. Also, they probably have to lower their standards for women in order to meet affirmative action quotas. Which again, makes their male peers more qualified for promotion.
    Reply