Tech-giant Google denies that it pays female employees less than their male peers, but it is currently facing strong opposition to this statement. Not only has the U.S. Department of Labor complained that Google has a gender-based pay gap, but it is also facing a class-action lawsuit that alleges the same. There are currently at least four plaintiffs in the workplace discrimination suit, and the outcome could have implications for workers across Wisconsin and the rest of the United States.
One of the suit’s plaintiff’s is a former preschool teacher at one of Google’s in-house childcare centers. At the time of her hire she not only had several years of related experience under her belt, but she also had a master’s degree in the field of teaching. Despite these credentials she was initially hired as a Level 1 employee. She later found out that male co-worker was hired as a Level 2 employee and earned more than she did despite having less education and fewer years of experience.
This was apparently a pervasive problem for Google’s preschool teachers. At the time, approximately 147 women worked as preschool teachers, only one of whom had been hired as a Level 2 employee. That particular employee started with over 10 years of experience. Only three men worked as preschool teachers at the same time, and none appeared to have anywhere near the same qualifications or experience, but two out of the three were hired as Level 2 employees with higher pay.
Google insists that it does not have a pay gap problem, instead claiming that people are looking at incomplete data before coming to this conclusion. However, employer denial is not uncommon when dealing with workplace discrimination, and many victims must take legal pathways to achieve justice. These types of claims often do more than provide compensation for Wisconsin victims, as those who successfully pursue these suits to completion are often able to affect policy change.
Source: gizmodo.com, “Another Former Google Employee Has Accused the Company of Underpaying Women“, Melanie Ehrenkranz, Jan. 3, 2018