According to Bloomberg, four Google employees have won the class-action status in their gender pay disparity lawsuit. The latest ruling in the protracted legal battle means that the suit can now be filed on behalf of the 10,800 women who have held various positions at the tech behemoth since 2013. Engineers, program managers, salespeople, and at least one preschool teacher are among those affected, representing a diverse range of professions.
The women are suing Google for more than $600 million in damages, claiming that Google violated the California Equal Pay Act by paying them less than their male counterparts and promoting them slowly and infrequently.
According to a previous filing in the suit, which cited an analysis by UC Irvine economist David Neumark, female workers at Google earn nearly $16,800 less than “similarly situated men.”
According to the lawsuit filed by female employees, Google has always discriminated against women and continues to do so by paying women less than male employees for doing the same work under the same working conditions.
According to the suit, the tech giant stopped the practice in 2017 but has yet to address its wage disparities.
Google has stated that it rejects the lawsuit’s main allegations. The original lawsuit filed in 2017 by Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, and Kelli Wisuri was dismissed by a judge before being re-filed the following year with a supplemental plaintiff, Heidi Lamar.
In a statement, Kelly Dermody, a lawyer who represented the female employees in this case, said, “This is a significant day for women at Google and in the technology sector, and we are so proud of our brave clients for leading the way. This order shows that it is critical that companies prioritize paying women equitably over spending money fighting them in litigation.”
A Google spokesperson says, “We strongly believe in the equity of our policies and practices. If we find any differences in proposed pay, including between men and women, we make upward adjustments to remove them before new compensation goes into effect,”
The company reached a settlement with the Department of Labor in February over systemic pay and hiring discrimination at its California and Washington offices. Google agreed to pay more than $2.5 million to over 5,500 current employees and job applicants who had experienced pay disparities.
In 2019, Google paid $9.7 million to narrow pay gaps for 10,677 employees in contrast to similar tech pay disputes after recognizing it was compensating men under women who work in similar roles.