Google is now facing yet another lawsuit. Three former female employees are accusing the company of discriminating against women in terms of salary and promotions.
Filed Thursday, Sept. 14, in a California court, the proposed class action lawsuit follows as Google faces an investigation led by the U.S. Department of Labor into its alleged gender bias in terms of compensation.
Google Faces Gender Bias Lawsuit
This seems to be Google's first potential class-action lawsuit associated with gender discrimination, but it's certainly not the lone company facing such criticisms of gender bias. Oracle, Microsoft, and Twitter are all facing their own lawsuits, Reuters reports. Combined, these paint of a picture of inherent sexism at workplaces in Silicon Valley.
The three plaintiffs held different positions while at Google: one was a software engineer, one was a communications specialist, and one was a manager who worked in various roles. They claim that at Google, women receive less compensation for doing the same work as men and that it puts women in lower job ladders where they're less likely to be promoted, get raises, and receive bonuses.
"Google has discriminated and continues to discriminate against its female employees by systemically paying them lower compensation than Google pays male employees performing substantially similar work, under similar working conditions," the complaint reads, as NBC News reports.
They argue Google violated California state laws stipulating equal pay for the same work and disallowing unfair and unlawful business practices. The plaintiffs want to represent women who held jobs at the Mountain View, California company in the last four years.
A Google spokesperson has said in a statement that the company works hard to "create a great workplace for everyone, and to give everyone the chance to thrive here." They disagreed with the allegations but promised to review the lawsuit in detail.
The plaintiffs seek back pay and compensation, including wages, stock, and bonuses. It also commands Google to change its policies in relation to proper, fair compensation. The lawsuit comes just a month after a now-former Google employee, James Damore, published a 10-page essay criticizing Google's diversity efforts and claiming there are fewer women engineers because of biological differences between males and females.
The essay's author was later fired but attracted both ire and support for his opinions.
Silicon Valley Sexism
In recent years, there's been an overwhelming increase of female professionals in Silicon Valley speaking out about their experiences. It began with former Uber engineer Susan J. Fowler, who published a detailed account of sexism inside the ride-hailing company. Several other testimonies soon followed, unraveling the unfortunate landscape of sexism in the tech industry.