Google is paying $118 million to settle a lawsuit over wage discrimination impacting more than 15,500 employees.
Four employees sued Google in 2017, claiming the company discriminated against female employees. The lawsuit gained class-action status in 2021, with the plaintiffs claiming Google shorted its female employees $16,794 per year, compared to their male counterparts. Google has agreed to settle the lawsuit for $118 million.
In addition to the financial settlement, Google has agreed to an independent third-party expert who will analyze Google’s hiring practices. The company will also allow an independent labor economist to review its pay equity studies. In addition, an external Settlement Monitor will supervise the post-settlement work for the next three years.
“As a woman who’s spent her entire career in the tech industry, I’m optimistic that the actions Google has agreed to take as part of this settlement will ensure more equity for women,” said Plaintiff Holly Pease. “Google, since its founding, has led the tech industry. They also have an opportunity to lead the charge to ensure inclusion and equity for women in tech.”
“Google has long been a technology leader. We are delighted that in this Settlement Agreement and Order Google is also affirming its commitment to be a leader in ensuring pay equity and equal employment opportunity for all of their employees,” said Plaintiffs’ co-counsel Jim Finberg.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has been accused of wage discrimination. In early 2021, shortly before the current suit gained class-action status, Google settled another wage discrimination case for $2.6 million. Google was accused of discriminating against both women and Asian contractors.
Hopefully, this recent legal setback will serve as incentive for Google to be more careful moving forward, ensuring all its workers receive equal pay.