According to a May 2021 report in the Los Angeles Times, a group of four women received class action status for their gender discrimination lawsuit against Google. Nearly 11,000 current and former female employees could potentially benefit from a victory in the case, which seeks more than $600 million in damages.
Learn more about how the tech giant allegedly violated the California Equal Pay Act by paying male employees more for the same job as female employees.
Gender discrimination claims
A court document the plaintiffs filed in July 2020 claimed that women working at Google earned nearly $17,000 less annually than men for performing similar job duties. The discrepancy included lower base wages and bonuses as well as fewer stock options for female employees according to the legal filing.
The plaintiffs also say Google required job candidates between 2011 and 2017 to disclose prior pay, a practice that helps continue the cycle of lower pay for women. In fact, California Unfair Competition Law prohibits this policy.
Class action status
Similar lawsuits against large tech firms like Twitter have failed to earn class action status in the eyes of the court. Because the California courts granted class status to the Google lawsuit, the affected women can sue as a group rather than bringing individual actions for pay and gender discrimination.
The LA Times notes that the Google class action case will likely go to trial in 2022. Google refutes the claims, citing its eight-year analysis and adjustment of salaries across the company to ensure fairness among all demographic categories.