Google is facing a new class action lawsuit accusing it of gender-based pay discrimination. According to an ABC news report, a lawyer representing three female former employees of the corporation is seeking class action status for the claim, filed in San Francisco Superior Court. This action follows a federal labor investigation that makes a preliminary finding of systemic pay discrimination among the 21,000 employees at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View. An initial investigation uncovered that women earned less than men in nearly every job classification.
Systemic Issue with Pay Discrimination
However, Google disputes those findings by the labor department and says that its own analysis shows no such pay gap. The class action lawsuit has been brought on behalf of three women who all quit after being put on career tracks that they claims would get them less pay than their male counterparts. The lawsuit aims to represent thousands of female Google employees and seeks lost wages as well as a slice of the corporation’s profits.
One of the women said she has come forward because she wants to fix a “pervasive problem of gender bias at Google.” She said she quit her job at Google in 2014 after male engineers with similar experience were hired to higher-paying job levels and she was denied a promotion in spite of excellent performance reviews.
A Google spokeswoman said job levels and promotions are determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees and must pass multiple levels of review including checks to ensure that there is no gender bias in these decisions. This lawsuit also follows the firing of male engineer James Damore who wrote a memo circulated on internal message boards that blamed inherent differences between men and women for underrepresentation of women in engineering roles.
Equal Pay and Discrimination
The federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits any type of pay discrimination on the basis of gender. The law is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act and was enacted to bridge the pay gap that existed, and still persists today, between men and women who perform the same job duties. The Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the payment of wages or benefits where men and women perform work that involves similar skill, effort and responsibility for the same employer under similar working conditions. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 and prohibits all forms of employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and gender.
In order to bring a claim under the Equal Pay Act, the employee must show that a man and woman working at the same place and doing the “substantially same job” or equal work, are receiving unequal pay. If you believe you have been discriminated against at work because of your gender, it is important that you contact an experienced California employment attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.