MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) — Google could be facing a new lawsuit.
Dozens of women have come forward accusing the tech-giant of gender discrimination.
When civil rights attorney James Finberg asked on social media if any female Google employees thought they were unfairly getting paid less than male coworkers, the phone started ringing.
Finberg said, “In my experience, having 70 people call you when you put up a post about a company is a very large outpouring of dissatisfaction. So I think it’s telling and a matter of concern.”
Back in April, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP), a division of the Department of Labor, testified in federal court about an ongoing investigation into Google’s pay practices.
In a report by The Guardian, the OFCCP said, “The department has received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters…discrimination against women in google is quite extreme…”
Finberg said, “They complained to human resources and nothing was done about it.”
Finberg, based in San Francisco, is now preparing to file a class-action lawsuit, after interviewing dozens of current and former google employees.
He says the women complained they were getting paid a quarter to a third less than men doing the same work.
Finberg said, “The culture at Google is hostile to women. Women tend to be channeled into what are perceived to be softer positions. User interface positions, design positions. Men get the code positions. Code positions are more highly paid and more highly valued at Google.”
Google has fired back with two detailed blog posts, saying, “We were quite surprised when…the OFCCP accused us of not compensating women fairly.”
“We were taken aback by this assertion, which came without any supporting data or methodology…,” Google claims. “Our annual analysis shows no gender pay gap at Google.”
Google claims, “OFCCP has not taken sufficient steps to learn how our systems work and may not have accurately understood them.”
Finberg is still taking complaints and plans to file the suit in the coming weeks. The statute of limitations to go after back wages in California is four years. With tens of thousands of female employees, if Google loses this suit it could get very expensive for the company.