On Thursday, a lawsuit accusing Google of gender pay discrimination was granted class-action status. The complaint filed in 2017 in San Francisco claims that Google broke the California Equal Pay Act by underpaying women who performed the same tasks as males. Because the case has been certified as a class action, the defendants will represent more than 10,800 women alleging pay discrimination against Google.
Kelly Dermody, a lawyer representing women, applauded the class-action order. "We are very proud of our bold clients for leading the way," she said in a statement. "This is a big day for women at Google and in the technology sector. This order demonstrates how important it is for firms to pay women fairly rather than waste money fighting them in court," Bloomberg reported.
Google defends pay practices
The case's development comes as Silicon Valley grapples with issues of gender and diversity. Amazon was sued by five women last week, alleging a variety of employment law violations, including equal pay violations, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. In other Google news, the business's artificial intelligence section has been rocked by turbulence following the high-profile dismissal of researchers who had publicly criticized the company for its lack of diversity and bias.
Per CNET, Google defended its pay practices on Thursday. In a statement, a spokesman said, "We strongly believe in the equity of our policies and practices. We make upward adjustments to erase any differences in proposed pay, including between men and women, before new compensation takes effect."
In recent months, Google has been involved in numerous lawsuits over equal pay. In February, Google agreed to pay nearly $2.6 million to the US Department of Labor to settle "systematic compensation and hiring discrimination" in its California and Washington facilities.
The department said salary inequalities between male and female engineers at Google and female and Asian job seekers were discovered. Google agreed to pay almost 2,600 female engineers $1.3 million in back salary and interest, as well as $1.2 million to nearly 3,000 candidates who were not hired as part of the settlement.
Google nears resettlement over an antitrust case with France
After French regulators said Google abused its position in internet advertising, the corporation is reportedly close to striking an antitrust deal with the French government. Sources familiar with the situation said the settlement will most likely include a fine and require Google to undertake operational changes, The Hill reported.
France's Competition Authority accused Google's ad server, DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), of giving AdX, Google's online ad auction house, a competitive edge over other merchants, among other things. The settlement will not entail Google admitting or denying responsibility in the lawsuit, and the proposed modifications will only apply in France, though they may be implemented across the firm.
According to the sources, the authority's board must still accept the settlement, which could reject it. The action in France stems from a lawsuit made in 2019 by several media companies, including News Corp., Le Figaro, and Groupe Rossel, a Belgian media firm. Le Figaro has dropped the case.