Google lost a lawsuit involving gender inequality, benefiting more than 10,000 women

Bloomberg reports that four women who work at Google have won class action status to continue their gender pay gap lawsuit. The latest ruling in the long-running legal battle means the lawsuit can now apply to 10,800 women who have held various positions at the technology giant since 2013. Those affected include a wide range of occupations such as engineers, project managers, salespeople and at least one teacher of preschoolers.

The women, who are seeking more than $600 million in damages, claim that Google violated the California Equal Pay Act by paying women less than men and promoting them slowly and infrequently. An earlier filing in the lawsuit cited an analysis by University of California, Irvine economist David Newmark that said Google’s female employees earn nearly $16,800 less than “similarly situated men. 16,800.

The lawsuit also claims that Google’s use of prior wage information is a key factor in maintaining wage inequality over time. The lawsuit claims the tech giant ended the practice in 2017 but failed to address its wage gap.

Google has denied the main allegations of the lawsuit. The original lawsuit, filed by Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri in 2017, was thrown out by a judge and then filed the following year along with another plaintiff, Heidi Lamar. Ellis announced on Twitter that the latest decision was “huge.

The ruling adds to Google’s scrutiny of the treatment of women, and in February, the company settled with the Department of Labor over its systemic pay and employment discrimination in California and Washington state. Google agreed to pay $2.5 million to more than 5,500 employees and job applicants who currently face pay gaps. In contrast to similar technology pay disputes, Google paid $9.7 million in 2019 to close the pay gap for 10,677 employees after acknowledging that men were paid less than women for the same position.