Google pays $118 million to settle gender discrimination suit

The $118 million settlement covers about 15,500 female employees who have worked for the company in California since September 2013.

June 13, 2022 10:42 am | Updated 12:23 pm IST - New York

A woman passes the logo from the web search engine provider Google during the digital society festival ‘re:publica’, at the Arena Berlin in Berlin, Germany June 9, 2022.

A woman passes the logo from the web search engine provider Google during the digital society festival ‘re:publica’, at the Arena Berlin in Berlin, Germany June 9, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Google said on Sunday that it was "very pleased" to be settling, without admission of wrongdoing, a class-action lawsuit that argued it underpaid female employees and assigned them lower-ranking positions.

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The $118 million settlement covers about 15,500 female employees who have worked for the company in California since September 2013, the law firms Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Altshuler Berzon LLP said in a statement released Friday night.

The company also agreed for a third party to analyse its hiring and compensation practices as part of the settlement.

In a statement to AFP, Google said that "while we strongly believe in the equity of our policies and practices, after nearly five years of litigation, both sides agreed that resolution of the matter, without any admission or findings, was in the best interest of everyone, and we're very pleased to reach this agreement."

In 2017, several former Google employees sued the company in a San Francisco court, accusing it of paying women less than men for equivalent positions and assigning women lower positions than men with similar experiences because they had previously earned smaller salaries.

According to a copy of the agreement released by the law firms, "Google denies all of the allegations in the lawsuit and maintains that it has fully complied with all applicable laws, rules and regulations at all times."

A judge must still approve the agreement, the two law firms for the plaintiffs said.

Google previously agreed in 2021 to pay $3.8 million to the U.S. Department of Labor over accusations it had discriminated against women and Asians.

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