Does Google discriminate against women?
The tech giant has long enjoyed a reputation for being one of the best places to work. It often hits the top of the list on Glassdoor and in Fortune magazine. However, at least four California women disagree with that assessment, saying that the company routinely paid its female employees less than male ones. They also allege that women were offered less stock and given smaller bonuses than their male counterparts.
Now, the women have asked a California judge to grant class-action status to their lawsuit, which was first filed in 2017. If successful, they would become the representatives for a class that includes about 10,800 former Google employees.
According to an analysis by economist David Neumark at the University of California Irvine, Google pays its women employees about $16,794 less than they pay men. If the lawsuit is successful in obtaining class-action status and the plaintiffs win their case, Google stands to lose more than $600 million.
Google has defended itself against the claims, saying that they use a “rigorous pay equity analysis” to keep pay, bonuses and other financial incentives fair across the board. Their request to have the lawsuit dismissed, however, was denied in 2018.
There are numerous advantages of having a case like this move forward as a class action. If there are attorneys working on parallel cases, they may join forces — and pool their investigative and financial resources against the opposition. Plus, a class action helps keep the courts from being flooded with similar lawsuits against one party.
Workplace discrimination is never okay. If you were paid less than your co-workers and you suspect it had to do with your gender, race, disability or another arbitrary reason that’s illegal, seek experienced legal advice.