According to government regulators, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is underpaying their female employees for doing similar work as men. The U.S. Department of Labor made this accusation against the tech giant at a court hearing in San Francisco on Friday. Ironically, only three days back on the Equal Pay Day, the Mountain View, California-based company said they have “closed the gender pay gap globally”.
Janette Wipper, a regional director for the Labor Department said, “We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce”. Janette even testified in the court while making the accusation saying that the company was systematically discriminating against women.
Google, though, is opposing these claims. The company issued a statement promptly saying, “Every year, we do a comprehensive and robust analysis of pay across genders and we have found no gender pay gap”. The Google statement also said this is the first time they are hearing such claims.
Google says this is just a “fishing expedition”.
Is Google Gender Biased?
The Department of Labor says that Google’s discrimination is “extreme”. Google and many other tech firms have historically offered the best jobs with the highest pays to whites and Asian men. They have sometimes made an attempt to strike a better balance, but this has mostly failed.
There have been frequent accusations of sexual harassment and gender bias, with a few lawsuits as well. For example, just 19 percent of the technology jobs in Google are held by women. Overall, just about a third of the 70,000 people working at the firm are women. Plus, there are accusations of racial discrimination and harassment at many term firms, including Google as well.
The Government Wants Google to Release Compensation Data
The government is now suing Google and asking the company to release compensation data to ensure that they are complying with equal opportunity laws. The DoL issued a press release where they said, “Google has had many opportunities to produce this information voluntarily, but has refused to do so”.
The U.S. Department of Labor started their probe after a lawsuit was filed in January that wanted to prevent Google from doing business with the federal government will the time they audited their employee-compensation records. Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) says they have provided some of the asked for records, but has withheld other information to protect worker privacy.