Pay discrimination? In Silicon Valley? We’re shocked.
Google will be forced to cough up roughly US$3.8 million to settle allegations of pay and hiring discrimination, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday. At issue were allegations that the company paid women engineers less than their male counterparts and had a hiring process that disadvantaged both women and Asian applicants for software engineering roles.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) uncovered what it termed “systemic” problems over the course of a “a routine compliance evaluation” focused on Google’s Mountain View, California; Seattle, Washington; and Kirkland, Washington offices in between 2014 and 2017.
Notably, those millions aren’t going to the Department of Labor. Rather, US$1.35 million of it is back pay and interest that will be paid to 2,565 women working “in engineering positions subject to pay discrimination.” An additional US$1.23 million is slated for both women and Asian applicants.
“Regardless of how complex or the size of the workforce, we remain committed to enforcing equal opportunity laws to ensure non-discrimination and equity in the workforce,” noted Jane Suhr, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ regional director.
Google agreed to hold aside at least another US$1.25 million “in pay-equity adjustments.”
We reached out to the Department of Labor in an effort to determine how, if at all, the scope of its evaluation was limited. We received no immediate response. We likewise reached out to Google for comment on the settlement, and likewise received no immediate response.
As Bloomberg Law reports, the “early resolution” reached by Google and the Department of Labor gives the former some serious breathing room. Specifically, the latter “won’t audit 39 Google locations for five years.”
Despite the seeming mutual nature of the agreement, Google, it should be noted, has in the past fought tooth and nail to deprive the government of pay and hiring data. Critics also excoriated Google in December when it pushed out Timnit Gebru, an AI researcher who complained in an email to staff about the company’s paltry efforts to hire more women. “Your life gets worse when you start advocating for underrepresented people,” she wrote in the email sent late last year.
SEE ALSO: More than 225 Google workers form union
Google isn’t the only tech giant to stand accused of pay discrimination. In 2017, the Department of Labor accused Oracle of “a systemic practice of paying Caucasian male workers more than their counterparts in the same job title.” In September of 2020, a judge ruled that the OFCCP hadn’t established it claims.
Google is supposed to send notices to those eligible for checks by April 16 and recipients get a month to respond in order to get the money, according to the settlement.
ที่มา : Mashable