Government Investigators Accuse Google Of Underpaying Female Workforce

9 April 2017, 9:48 pm EDT By Anu Passary Tech Times
The U.S. Department of Labor accused Google of gender pay disparity. Google, however, denied all allegations and claimed that it does not underpay its female workforce.  ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

Google is under the scanner and is facing accusations from the U.S. Department of Labor for gender pay discrimination.

The Department of Labor officials claim that they have proof supporting "extreme" compensation inequalities, which Google has levied against its female workforce.

The evidence was collected as a part of an ongoing enquiry and suggests, that the company violated numerous federal laws with regard to the salary, which is given to the females employees of the company.

Google Tangled In Gender Pay Discrimination Charges?

At a court hearing on Friday, April 7, Janette Wipper, a regional director at the Department of Labor testified that the agency found "systemic compensation disparities against women" almost in the entire workforce.

"The investigation is not complete, but at this point the department has received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters," remarked Janet Herold, regional solicitor of the Department of Labor, to the Guardian.

She further added that the salary discrimination against women working at Google is extreme, even for a tech company. The allegations come at a precarious time when most tech-based companies are battling pay disparity, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination issues.

The allegations leveled against Google came to light at a court hearing for a lawsuit, which the Department of Labor filed against Google in January this year. The lawsuit was filed in a bid to coerce Google to hand over data and documents pertaining to the salary of its employees.

Although Google is a federal contractor, the company flatly refused to hand over the data to the Department of Labor in 2016. The lawsuit was filed based on the refusal, which is a violation of federal laws.

As a federal contractor, Google is required to provide data related to its equal opportunity laws. Moreover, the Alphabet-owned company would also have to allow the Department of Labor to investigate and copy records of the same.

Google Responds To The Allegations

Google pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the accusations levied against it. The company stated that gender pay disparity does not exist at the organization.

The company denied Wipper's claims and asserted to the Guardian that it did not find any gender pay gap in its internal investigations, which are conducted each year.

Google also termed the accusations made by the Department of Labor as "unfounded." It accused the agency of not providing, or sharing any data in support of its statement.

On April 4, Google claimed on Twitter that it practices equal pay across all races and has closed the gender pay gap worldwide.

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