Lawsuit accuses Google of discriminating against women in pay, promotions

Three female former Google employees claim women earned less than men in nearly every job classification

Three former Google employees have filed a class-action suit against the company alleging that it systematically channels female staff members into job levels and ladders with lower pay and fewer opportunities for advancement.

"While Google has been an industry-leading tech innovator, its treatment of female employees has not entered the 21st century", Kelly Dermody, a lawyer for the women, said in a statement.

The women claim they were paid less than men, frequently assigned to lower paying jobs, and promoted less often than men in similar jobs.

After the government chose to sue Google over claims of the company discriminating in pay against its female employees, another group of former employees have made a decision to sue Google for equal pay discrimination. Her goal for the lawsuit is not just to make Google change its pay practices; instead, she said she wants "to force not only Google, but other companies to change their practices and compensate EVERYONE fairly". The company's spokesperson, Gina Scigliano, said, "In relation to this particular lawsuit, we'll review it in detail, but we disagree with the central allegations".

The case names three plaintiffs, with the first being Kelly Ellis, who joined Google in 2010 as a front-end software engineer on the Google Photos team.

In January, the US Department of Labour filed a lawsuit against Google, requesting it release its salary data and documents to the government - and in April it revealed it had substantial evidence it underpaid its female employees.

James Finberg, the attorney, who is representing these plaintiffs, believes that this lawsuit will be able to gain the class action status and will, indeed, cover all the female employees that have worked with Google and faced such disparities.

But Google says that according to its own analysis, it pays women 99.7 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Google has denied the allegations.

Another tech giant, Uber, has seen a dramatic shakeup since software engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post in February recounting numerous experiences with sexism and discrimination during her time working at that company. A male colleague with similar levels of experience started on a higher position and to add to that, she was also assigned to a less prestigious engineering role, the suit said.

Google, which has been in the hot seat already this year when it was sued for compensation data, finds itself with another lawsuit dealing with employee compensation, or rather the lack of compensation and opportunities provided for the women it employes.

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