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$118 million is the amount that Google will pay to United States to compensate its “women employees” victims of discrimination. The bill is salty but it is an amicable agreement, which allows to close five years of procedure and especially which avoids going through the trial box.

The collective complaint was brought by four former employees: Kelly Ellis, software engineer, Holly Pease, team manager, Kelli Wisuri, marketing manager, and Heidi Lamar, teacher at the Google children’s center – also located in the huge headquarters. of Mountain View in California. Their complaint was recognized as a class action last year.

The 4 former employees felt that in the company, in equivalent positions, women were paid less than men; and that with equal experience and qualifications they were at lower levels. The American giant would thus have violated a local law, the California Equal Pay Act, by paying women $16,794 less per year than men.

The plaintiffs originally sought $600 million in damages. Thanks to it, around 15,500 employees who work for the search engine will therefore be compensated. The deal, revealed on Friday June 10, still needs to be approved by a judge on June 21.

This does not mean that Google acknowledges its responsibility. The group, on the contrary, denies the accusations. Maintains that it is “fully compliant with all laws, rules and regulations“, refers to the code of good conduct of its parent company, Alphabet, according to which it “strictly prohibits unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis [entre autres] sex, gender identity or expression.

Google ensures that it treats all its employees fairly and equitably and that if it finds differences in remuneration, it makes the necessary adjustments. He even says he is very satisfied with this agreement. You have to save face. The main thing is to settle a legal dispute that was beginning to become uncomfortable.

In 2021, the search engine had already paid 3.8 million dollars for discrimination against 2,565 women employed to engineering positions, as well as nearly 3,000 people, female candidates or candidates of Asian origin, who had not been chosen for such positions.

Google said the discriminations were detected during a routine internal analysis and that the company agreed to pay the sum to correct the situation, while denying having violated the law.

This time there is still progress: Google has also accepted, it is in the agreement, that for three years, two independent experts analyze its recruitment and remuneration practices. The company will have to follow their recommendations, set up a more egalitarian model.

As a woman who has spent her entire career in the tech industry, I am optimistic that the actions Google has agreed to take under this agreement will ensure greater fairness for women.“, Holly Pease said in a statement.

But the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is also investigating the company following claims of potential harassment and discrimination against black female employees.

The sexist culture that dominates Silicon Valley’s tech industries, which are mostly run by men, is being increasingly denounced. With sometimes mixed success: the women suing the software company Oracle have had their class action status withdrawn.

But all eyes are now on Nike, which is facing a lawsuit in the same circumstances: a class action, against facts of sexual discrimination, launched in 2018. If the plaintiffs win their case, 5,000 additional women will be able to claim compensation. compensation.



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