Dept. of Labor claims Google's pay disparities are 'systemic'

The United States Department of Labor has received "compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women" at Google, the Guardian reported. "All employers can take steps to eliminate the gender and race pay gaps, today", @Google tweeted earlier this week.

The Labor Department lawsuit filed in January with the Office of Administrative Law Judges to bar Google from doing business with the federal government unless the internet company turns over confidential information about thousands of its employees.

"The government's analysis at this point indicates that discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry", she said. At our re-Work site, we're sharing some of the lessons we've learned to help other businesses close the pay gap.

Despite Google's claims that it had managed to close the gender-pay gap globally, the USA labor department today testified against the company in court, alleging that there were systematic pay inequities at the company. "Other than making an unfounded statement which we heard for the first time in court, the [Department of Labor] hasn't provided any data or shared its methodology".

The OFCCP said that if Google did not comply, it would ask the court to cancel all of Google's current contracts with the government, and also prevent it from obtaining contracts in the future.

A Google spokesperson told Reuters, however, that over the a year ago, the company provided hundreds of thousands of records to comply with the OFCCP's audit.

Last year, women represented just 31 percent of Google's workforce, and held just 24 percent of leadership roles. The department says this is part of Google's agreement as a federal contractor, but Google says it sent enough to the agency and isn't willing to send more.

In a statement, Google said it has provided most of its records, but has rebuffed some of the agency's demands as "over broad" and an invasion of employee privacy.

Now, Google is only one of several technology companies that have been trying to improve hiring practices; practices which have not had to compensate female employees before. Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger refuted the claims as "politically motivated", adding that its employment decisions were only based on merit and experience.

  • Eleanor Harrison