Technology

Three women who worked at Google just sued the company, claiming discrimination

Three women who worked at Google just sued the company, claiming discrimination

It was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court. The trio charges that Google not only paid them less than men for a similar amount of work, but that women were also more often hired into positions where they were less likely to be promoted. The female employees allege that women are "segregated" into lower paying jobs which greatly hampers their advancement within the company, while male employees with fewer qualifications are fast-tracked to higher positions.

The new class-action lawsuit and the Department of Labor complaint are both part of a bigger-picture issue with gender and diversity issues that has emerged for Google in particular and Silicon Valley in general. The plaintiffs want to represent women who held jobs at the Mountain View, California company in the last four years.

"Google has discriminated and continues to discriminate against its female employees by systemically paying them lower compensation than Google pays male employees performing substantially similar work, under similar working conditions", the complaint reads, as NBC News reports.

If I were to hedge my bets, the three women who brought this to the world's attention, Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri, are going to come out on the winning end of this one. And it's not just about Google.

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A spokesperson at Google told USA Today that it would internally review the lawsuit but disagreed with "the central allegations". The company spokeswoman said that hiring and promotion committees in the company ensure that no employee is subjected to gender bias. Google denied the allegations, and when the DoL asked for more compensation data as well as employee contact information, the company said that the time and money required to obtain the data was too burdensome. She states that, despite coaching her employees how to pass technical interviews to be placed on the technical ladder, she was denied "a fair opportunity to be paid at the same rate as similar employees".

The lawsuit also follows the release of a memo written by a Google engineer who claimed on the internal document that, among other things, women were not biologically suitable for work in the technology industry and decried Google's efforts to level the playing field.

The suit seeks unspecified "wages due" and damages, as well as shares of Google, profits from the companies "unlawful and/or unfair business practices".


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