Three Ex-Google Women File Pay Gap Lawsuit In California, Inviting Class Action Status

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Three former Google female employees filed a lawsuit in San Francisco on Thursday, claiming that Google systematically pays women less money and fails to promotes qualified women as frequently as men. The women hope to make their case a class action one, representing all women who have worked at Google since 2013, writes an in-depth analysis of the case and the plaintiffs in Wired magazine.

Google is also the subject of a US Department of Labor investigation into potential pay policies that discriminate against women, writes Wired. Preliminary analyses showed large gaps; confirmed anecdotally in data compiled by female Google employees who insist they are paid less than men in most job categories, according to the New York Times.

A spreadsheet, obtained by The New York Times, contains salary and bonus information for 2017 that was shared by about 1,200 United States Google employees, or about 2 percent of the company’s global work force.

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“Silicon Valley has established itself as the boys’ club of the West, just like how Wall Street has established itself as the boys’ club of the East,” Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement at Arjuna Capital, told the Times. The wealth management firm takes activist positions on issues such as gender pay and successfully persuaded seven of nine technology companies, including Apple, Amazon and Microsoft to disclose gender-based pay data. Google put the proposal before parent company Alphabet shareholders and urged a note vote. Google prevailed. 

Google did reject the Times data analysis, saying that its "analysis includes salary, bonus and equity compensation for 95 percent of employees between levels one and nine — three levels beyond what was reflected in the data shared with The Times — while excluding vice presidents and above. Google did not provide a breakdown of how it arrived at that calculation."

The Wired article outlining the new lawsuit against Google is very meaty and is worth the read. The three women plaintiffs say that there were impacted by this summer's James Damore brief on the innately biological reasons why women aren't able to flourish in the tech world. Damore has filed a complaint with the National Labor Review Board and says he's also considering legal action.