Google’s parent company Alphabet will pay $ 118 million to 15,500 current and former female employees to settle a class action lawsuit that has been going on for five years.
The plaintiffs in the case represent a wide range of roles in the company, including managers, engineers, sales representatives and at least one preschool teacher.
They accused Google of putting overqualified women in less paid roles, refusing promotions to women and generally paying female employees on average close to $ 17,000 less than men.
Google is one of many technology giants that have experienced work problems related to pay, work culture and hiring practices in recent years. Others who have sued include Uber, Twitter and Microsoft.
In addition to the money, the court ordered Google to use a third-party expert to analyze the company̵[ads1]7;s HR practices, and an independent work economist will be used to examine the technology giant’s payroll capital over the next three years.
The agreement must be certified by a judge to proceed, a hearing is scheduled for June 21.
The lawsuit was originally filed in September 2017.
Four of the plaintiffs are named publicly. Lamar (left) was a preschool teacher at the Google Children’s Center in Palo Alto while Holly Pease (right) worked at Google for more than 10 years in a variety of roles, including as senior manager for business system integration and business data administrator
Kelli Wisuri (left) worked as a Google Brand Evangelist among other sales roles during his 2 and a half years in the company. Kelly Ellis (right) worked as a software engineer at Google’s Mountain View office for four years from 2010
In May 2021, the case was raised in a class action lawsuit by a San Francisco judge.
This meant that the plaintiffs could be grouped together instead of being forced to take individual cases against Google.
The plaintiffs accused Google of violating California’s equal pay law.
Four of the plaintiffs are named in the lawsuit, Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, Kelli Wisuri and Heidi Lamar. Everyone has previously worked for Google in California.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that women were paid approximately $ 16,794 less than men in similar roles per year.
Ellis worked as a software engineer at Google’s Mountain View office for four years from 2010. She was in a senior management position when she left the company in 2014.
Ellis cited Google’s “sexist culture” as the reason for her resignation.
In the lawsuit, Ellis said she was paid as a start-up engineer when she joined the company despite having four years of experience.
She claimed that a male colleague who graduated from college the same year as her and had less experience, was paid more.
In 2018, a Judge in San Francisco imposed a restraining order on a former Google entrepreneur who wrote on Twitter that Ellis deserved to be raped for suing the company.
Google is one of the many technology giants that have experienced work problems related to pay, work culture and hiring practices in recent years
Kelly Ellis (left), a former Google software engineer who was one of three women who sued the company in September over unpaid pay, persuaded a San Francisco court on Wednesday to impose a restraining order on Alex Gulakov (right)
Alex Gulakov tweeted to Ellis on January 2: “You deserve to be raped fat worthless c ***. Roofies from the deep web are easy to get hold of, and it’s time to close c * ckhole. ‘
Ellis claimed that Gulakov harassed her in a phone call over Google Hangouts where he called her a “feminazi”.
Pease worked for Google for more than 10 years in a variety of roles, including as Senior Business System Integration Manager and Business Data Manager.
Pease was quoted by her lawyers as saying she is “optimistic that the actions Google has agreed to take as part of this settlement will ensure more equality for women.”
She accused Google of leading the charge to “ensure the inclusion and equality of women in technology”.
Wisuri worked as a Google Brand Evangelist among other sales roles during his 2 and a half years in the company. She retired in 2015.
Lamar was a preschool teacher at the Google Children’s Center in Palo Alto. She was the last person to join the lawsuit, and did so in 2018 after bringing her own lawsuits against the company.
Lamar, who has a master’s degree in education, said in documents that she was paid $ 18.51 per hour while a male colleague without a master’s degree received $ 21 per hour.
She added, like others in the lawsuit, that in the interview she was asked about her previous salary and received that amount.
The practice of asking potential employees about their previous salaries was banned in California in 2018.
According to a statement from the plaintiff’s law firm, Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Berinstein: ‘[The plaintiffs] believes that these programs will help ensure that women are not paid less than their male counterparts who perform substantially similar work, and that Google’s challenged equalization practices are fair. ‘
In February 2021, Google was forced to pay over $ 3.8 million to female engineers who claimed to have been paid less than male colleagues and for discrimination in hiring Asian women.