Google scores a win in gender discrimination lawsuit


Google CEO makes an appeal to women in the midst of the diversity controversy

Jonathan Hunt reports from Los Angeles

A California state court sided with Google, for now, by dismissing the class action claims that accused the company of paying female employees less than men and giving them fewer opportunities for promotion.

Reuters reports that Superior Court Judge Mary Wiss San Francisco said on Monday the lawsuit was inappropriate because it was brought in the name of all the women who worked for Google in California. The plaintiffs have 30 days to make a new complaint on behalf of women who face pay discrimination.

Wiss also said that the claims of the plaintiffs in the case known as Ellis v. Google were vague, that they need to be shown how certain groups of women were affected by the tech firm’s pay policy and that two of the three named plaintiffs had not shown that they performed comparable work to the men who were allegedly paid more.

The decision comes as Google faces an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor in sex bias in its pay practices and as other women have come forward to say that they faced gender and racial discrimination in the company.


According to Google’s most recent data, the workforce is 69 percent male and 56 percent white.

Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano said that the company is working on creating a good workplace for everyone,” reports Reuters.

The Google logo is seen on a building in Irvine, California.


“If we ever have a individual deviations or problems we work to solve them,” Scigliano said Wednesday.

James Finberg, a lawyer for the three women who sued Google in September, told Reuters that he intended to make a new complaint in early January that “makes it clear that Google is in violation of the California Equal Pay Act … by paying women less than men for substantially equal work in almost every job classification.”

The lawsuit turned out to be the first to sex bias claims against Google on the name of a class of women, but only the latest instance of a major tech company is accused of discrimination of women.


The Department of Labor sued Oracle in January, claiming it paid white men more than women and people of color with similar tasks. Microsoft and Twitter will be faced with lawsuits about gender bias and Qualcomm last year, settled claims for $19.5 million.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Google and a former software engineer, a former communications specialist and former manager who worked in various positions at Mountain View, California-based company.

She said in the lawsuit that Google pays women in California less than men who perform similar work, and pointing to female employees in jobs that are less likely to lead to promotions, in violation of the law.

Google said that the employment decisions are taken by the recruitment and promotion of the committees and are examined to ensure that there is no bias.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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