Google has agreed to pay $118 million to settle a class-action gender discrimination lawsuit involving approximately 15,500 women (via Bloomberg). According to the press release announcing the settlement, Google must also have an outside labour economist assess its recruiting procedures and pay equity studies.
The lawsuit began in 2017 when three women filed a complaint alleging that the corporation was underpaying female employees in violation of California’s Equal Pay Act, citing a $17,000 wage disparity. According to the complaint, Google forces women into lower-paying career paths, resulting in lower pay and incentives than their male peers. Last year, the plaintiffs were successful in obtaining class-action status.
Google’s treatment of employees has been the subject of numerous investigations
Google’s treatment of employees has been the subject of numerous investigations. Last year, Google agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve a complaint alleging that it underpaid female engineers and failed to consider Asian employment candidates. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is also looking into the corporation after receiving complaints about potential harassment and discrimination against Black female employees.
In a statement, Holly Pease, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, stated, “As a woman who has spent her entire career in the tech industry, I’m optimistic that the actions Google has promised to take as part of this settlement will ensure more equity for women. Since its inception, Google has been at the forefront of the technology industry. They also have the chance to lead the movement for women’s inclusion and equity in the tech industry.”
The terms of the settlement must still be authorised by a court in a hearing scheduled for June 21st. “While we strongly believe in the equality of our policies and processes, after nearly five years of litigation, both sides agreed that resolution of the matter, without any admission or findings, was in the best interest of everyone, and we’re extremely glad to reach this agreement,” Google said in a statement to The Verge.
The company also stated that it is “totally committed to paying, employing, and levelling all employees fairly and equally. And that if it discovers a pay gap between male and female employees, it makes “upward adjustments.”