Former Google Employees Are Suing the Tech Giant for Gender Pay Disparity

By Bill Toulas / May 28, 2021

Four women who are former Google employees are suing the company over gender bias and represent 10,800 women who had to sustain unfair gender-based pay disparity. The lawsuit is seeking damages that exceed $600 million, bringing an average of $55k for each former and current employee affected by Google’s practices.

The San Francisco state judge has already certified the class action, so the legal war is officially on now. The law that spearheads the violations described in the lawsuit is California’s Equal Pay Act, one of the strictest of its kind in the U.S.

The trial is expected to start in 2022, and the lawyer who represents the thousands of women of Google is enthusiastic, stating that the bravery of the four women who decided to take the matter forward is now one step closer to making a difference in the tech field. In Kelly Demody’s own words: “This order shows that it is critical that companies prioritize paying women equitably over spending money fighting them in litigation.”

Google’s response is dismissive, saying that in the past eight years, the company has conducted an in-depth analysis to ensure that all salaries, bonces, and equity awards are fair, not only between genders but across every demographic category. Whatever discrepancies were found thanks to this analysis have long been addressed, and as a matter of fact, they were adjusted upward.

Google will be called to produce proof of these claims in court, as the plaintiffs maintain a different story. According to their stats, female workers at Google earn almost $16,800 less than men in similar roles, which is $1,400 less per month. The lawsuit also claims that Google has been following anachronistic salary calculation systems since 2017 - when it abandoned them for a fairer system yet still failing to address the existing wage gaps.

Even though many of Google’s employees are proudly touting the fact, the company has repeatedly found itself in the epicenter of criticism for fostering a toxic work environment, treating pregnant women with disrespect, paying humongous exit packages to executives who were accused of sexual assaults against women in the company, and sacking AI ethics researchers when their reports aren’t in line with the company’s core (and oftentimes rotten) values. The firm's reputation isn’t going through its best of times, and the latest lawsuit is only adding to the damage.

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