Google sued over alleged ‘systematic’ gender pay discrimination
The complaint was filed in a San Francisco court and is seeking class action
status in order to cover all females employed by Google in California over the last four years.
Three women who used to work for Google have filed a lawsuit against the tech
giant, claiming it systematically pays women less than men for doing similar
They also accuse the company of denying or limiting promotions and career
opportunities to women, who are just as qualified as males but are “segregated”
into lower-paying jobs. The complaint was filed in a San Francisco court and is
seeking class action status in order to cover all females employed by Google in
California over the last four years.
Kelly Ellis, a former software engineer at Google and one of the women that filed
the suit, tweeted that she hoped the move would force Google and other tech
companies to change their practices. James Finberg, one of the civil rights
lawyers involved in the case, told the Guardian newspaper, meanwhile, that
more than 90 women who previously or currently worked at the firm had
contacted him about getting involved in a potential class action.
Google said it would review the complaint but disagreed with its “central
allegations”. Spokeswoman Gina Scigliano attested in a statement: “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.”
But like other Silicon Valley firms, Google has faced questions over its treatment
of women before. Despite claiming it has eliminated its gender pay gap, it is
currently under investigation by the US Department of Labor, which found
systematic pay disparities during its 2015 audit, the lawsuit said.
The government sued Google in January in a bid to gain access to more
information to see if such patterns were consistent across other years. The New
York Times newspaper, on the other hand, obtained an internal Google
spreadsheet that showed women were paid on average less than men within the
same job level and tended to receive lower bonuses.
Google claimed the spreadsheet was not representative and failed to take into
account factors such as job performance and whether staff were in higher-paying