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Google Agrees to Pay $118 Million to Settle Pay Discrimination Case


Google has settled a class-action lawsuit that accused it of systematically underpaying women, promising to supply $118 million in monetary relief and invite outsiders to review its pay practices.

Three former Google employees first sued the corporate in 2017 in Ellis v. Google LLC, claiming that it paid women lower than men for a similar job; a fourth plaintiff was added later. A San Francisco Superior Court judge must now approve the Friday settlement, which covers about 15,500 women employed in California by Google in 236 different job titles since Sept. 14, 2013.

For Google, which prides itself on an egalitarian ethos, the long-running legal dispute was an uncomfortable subject. It coincided with gender discrimination suits against tech peers Microsoft and Oracle which have had mixed results. The ladies suing the software company Oracle faced a setback Friday, Bloomberg Law reported earlier, when a judge stripped the plaintiffs of their class-action status.

“While we strongly consider within the equity of our policies and practices, after nearly five years of litigation, either side agreed that resolution of the matter, with none admission or findings, was in the perfect interest of everyone,” Chris Pappas, a Google spokesman, said in a press release. “We’re very happy to succeed in this agreement.” Google has analyzed pay equity during the last nine years and raised employees’ pay when warranted, he added.

For 3 years after a proper approval of the settlement, Google will let third-party experts assess the way it could improve its pay equity process and be fairer when establishing rank and pay for brand new hires. There will even be an external monitor to evaluate whether the corporate is following the experts’ recommendations, in line with firms representing the plaintiffs, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and Altshuler Berzon.

“As a lady who’s spent her entire profession within the tech industry, I’m optimistic that the actions Google has agreed to take as a part of this settlement will ensure more equity for ladies,” Holly Pease, certainly one of the plaintiffs, said in a press release.

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