Google is under fire yet again with another lawsuit, this time, it has to do with gender-based pay discrimination at their headquarters in Mountain View, California.
As much as 90 women have responded to lawyer James Finberg’s call to determine how man women have been discriminated against, including three women who are listed in the suit to seek class action status for the claim.
James is representing three women, Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, and Kelli Wisuri – who all quit after realizing they were put on career tracks that would give them less pay than their male counterparts.
They seek loss of wages and a piece of Google’s profits, in addition, the lawyer will try and represent up to 21,000 workers of Google – as part of the goal to seek justice for all women who are employed and have been employed by Google in the last 4 years.
The suit follows a federal labour investigation that, with what they have found, will help the suit. They made preliminary findings of systemic pay discrimination among the 21,000 employees in almost ever job classification. In addition, a former employee of Google created a spreadsheet in 2015 which was obtained by USA Today and New York Times which revealed how significant the gap is.
The federal investigation was part of a suit against Google by the government to bar them from doing business with the Federal government until it released thousands of documents related to an audit over its pay practices.
The three former employees listed on the suit shared their stories:
- Hired with four years of experience
- Placed at Level 3 (where new college graduates are often placed)
- Weeks later a male colleague with the same experience was hired into Level 4
- She was put on the less-prestigious front-end development team, despite having experience in backend development
- The backend team is higher paid and almost exclusively men
- Hired into a Level 2 Sales role, men with similar qualifications entered at Level 3
- Men were more often hired into roles that received commission
- Entered with 10 years of experience as a network engineer and oversaw “technical” staff
- Wasn’t considered to be a “technical” employee herself – limited her pay
- Denied the opportunity to transition to the “technical” classification
- After returning from medical leave she was moved out of engineering entirely
Much of the lawsuit revolves around the tiered pay system, as the higher tiers are given higher salaries and bonuses. Additionally, if one is considered a “technical” employee, they are given higher pay than those classified as “non-technical” employees.
They also claim that Google violated California law, including the California Equal Pay Act. In addition they want Google to correct its hiring practices.
Even though Google pledged three years ago they will “close the race and gender gap to make its workforce better reflect the panoply of people it serves around the globe,” they are still overwhelmingly male and employs few Hispanic and African Americans.
The suit, if designated as a class action lawsuit, will cover all women at Google over the last 4 years.
Devry Smith Frank LLP is a full service law firm that has a very experienced group of lawyers within our employee and labour law groups. If you are in need of representation, please contact one of our lawyers today or call us directly at 416-449-1400.
By: Nicolas Di Nardo