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Following U.S. Allegations of Gender Pay Gap, Google Defends Employment Practices


United States government investigators have been paying particular attention to one highly popular company: Google. After analyzing Google’s policies, with specific attention to the payment of workers and patterns relating to such, the government officials have accused the technology entity of unfairly compensating female employees who do work that is identical, or very similar, to their male counterparts. Thus suggesting there is a treatment discrepancy based solely on gender within the allegedly modern company.

An official of the United States Department of Labor divulged the agency’s accusations of such injustices as being present within Google during a court hearing. The hearing took place this past Friday in San Francisco.

As found in a report published by The Guardian, Department of Labor regional director Janette Wipper declared, “We found systematic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.”

Google has responded to this accusation negatively, maintaining that these charges are not accurate. The Mountain View, California-based company went even further to state that it has never even heard such claims until Wipper’s testimony in court.

Google released a statement in response to the controversial accusations stating, “Every year, we do a comprehensive and robust analysis of pay across genders and we have found no gender pay gap.” Thus, the technology giant seems to be upholding a story very different from the one uncovered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s investigation.

Google is among the recent wave of companies in the technology industry that actively aim, at least publically so, to better their hiring practices. The field is especially in the eye of the Department of Labor relating to its payment policies and hiring practices as the technology industry has been historically recognized to award the bulk of their technical jobs to white and Asian men. Thus hindering the ability of women and people of color to gain power and opportunities in the technology work field. Unfortunately, most of these efforts to achieve an improved balance and strive towards true equality of opportunity and treatment have been fruitless as of the present.

This failure of the technology companies to improve their policies can be best portrayed by the example of Google. At the company, only 19 percent of the technology jobs are currently held by women. Additionally, a little under one-third of Google’s over 70,000 workers are women.

The Department of Labor’s initial accusation based of their investigation’s findings has provoked their filing of a lawsuit. This past January, they filed a case with the intention of impeding Google from doing business with the federal government unless the technology giant collaborated with and submitted itself to an audit of its employee compensation records. In response, Google has stated that it has turned over a portion of the requested report, but that it refused to submit other information, which the company deemed would allegedly invade the privacy of its employees.

Although Google and its fellow technology companies have recently been divulging shameful sexual and racial inequalities in their workforces for the past few years, the industry has continually managed to keep a close lock on their compensation practices, which, interestingly enough, have not been part of these disclosed reports.

The Department of Labor is currently inspecting the Silicon Valley in an attempt to identify patterns of pay and hiring discrimination, relying on its right to investigate companies that bid for profitable government contracts to do so.

Previously, this year, the Department of Labor sued Oracle as well. It did so under the accusations that the business software producer regularly pays white male workers more than their female and non-white equivalents for similar jobs.

Featured Image via Wikimedia.

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