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Class Action Filed Against Google for Gender Pay Discrimination

Emanuel Shirazi

Three former Google employees have filed a lawsuit against the innovative technology company for alleged gender pay discrimination. Here is what we know about the case:

  1. The female employees were all employed by Google of California during the past four years.
  2. They are seeking a class-action status (the first of its kind against Google).
  3. With the suit, the employees hope to ensure fairness for current and future women employed by the company.
  4. The women claim that Google pays women less due to “systemic discrimination.”
  5. Plaintiff Kelly Ellis had previous experience as a software engineer prior to being hired by Google, she was assigned a Level 3 on Google’s software engineering team (a level usually assigned to new college graduates). A few weeks later, Google hired a male software engineer (with the same level of expertise) and assigned him to a (higher paying) Level 4.
  6. Despite that fact that she received stellar performance reviews, Google denied her a level promotion in the beginning. She eventually received the promotion, but by that time, her male cohorts were already way ahead of her career and pay-wise, thus furthering the gender pay gap.
  7. Another plaintiff in the case, Kelli Wisuri, says she was paid less for doing the same work as her male cohorts.
  8. In the suit, there is a US Department of Labor analysis of 21,000 Google employees during 2015. In the analysis, there is a clear disparity in compensation amongst female and male employees. In Google’s internal analysis, however, there was no disparity.

Back in April (on “Equal Pay Day”) Google made the bold claim that it had “closed the gender pay gap globally.” According to the three plaintiffs, however, this announcement seems more like a PR stunt than the actual truth.

A female spokesperson for Google assures that the accusations are without merit. She claims that job levels and promotions are “determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees, and must pass multiples level of review.” She also ensures that Google has many systems in place that makes sure employees are paid fairly.

Taking into account all the recent discrimination cases surfacing from the tech industry, what do you think?

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