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Google’s Ex-Staffers suing the company for alleged Sex Discrimination against Women in Fair Remuneration

by Milicent Atieno
sex discrimination google

Three ladies who used to work at Google are claiming the company deliberately funneled women into working in less lucrative “job ladders.” The trio has filed a lawsuit against Google alleging they were discriminated against and that they were systematically paid less than their male counterparts.

The lawsuit [PDF] has been filed in San Francisco Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks class-action status, claiming Google violated the California Equal Pay Act and other sections of the state labor code.

The three ladies’ lawsuit against Google comes hot on the heels of another sex discrimination allegation made by the US Department of Labor. The Department of Labor currently has an ongoing litigation against Google on gender pay disparities.

Apparently, the government conducted a statistical regression analysis and found out Google has a “systematic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.” Google has come out to deny these claims.

In the lawsuit filed by the three ladies, Google is being accused of channeling and segregating women into career paths and job ladders that are lower paying. For male stuff, the opposite seems to be true regardless of the fact they are qualified as their women counterpart or perhaps even less skilled. The three plaintiffs in the lawsuit are:

Ø Kelly Ellis: She first joined Google in 2010 as a front-end software engineer and worked on the Google Photos team. Ellis is said to have come with four years’ worth of experience in software engineering, but she was placed in Level 3 in the compensation “ According to her complaint, this level is typically reserved for fresh college graduates.

There is a false and gendered perception at Google that backend engineering is more technically rigorous, and therefore more prestigious than frontend software engineering,” the plaintiff claims. Ellis goes further to say that on her team, “almost all backend software engineers were men… Almost all female software engineers, however, were frontend engineers.”

Ellis said she had to tender in her resignation in 2014 “because of the sexist culture at Google.”

Ø Holly Pease: The second plaintiff was a corporate network manager hired by Google in 2015. Pease claims that although she managed the engineering teams, she was never placed on a “technical” A position that would have seen her get an improved salary, pay raises, bonuses, and company equity.

Pease further claims that she took it upon herself to teach colleagues on how to get to the technical ladder and earn the good salary. However, she was never given “a fair opportunity to be paid at the same rate as similar employees.” Pease career at Google took a nose-dive after she returned from a medical leave, and had to resign in February 2016.

Ø Kelli Wisuri: Wisuri joined Google in 2012 and joined the Sales Enablement team. A position said to be less lucrative than those working in Sales, which pays on a commission basis. She claims 50% in the Sales Enablement jobs were women, while almost all of the workers in Sales department were men.

Wisuri says she felt compelled to leave Google in January 2015 “due to lack of opportunities for advancement for women at Google.”

In response to the lawsuit by the trio women, a spokesperson from Google sent an elaborate email saying Google has “extensive systems in place to ensure that we pay fairly.”

The email further reads: We work really hard to create a great workplace for everyone and to give everyone the chance to thrive here. In relation to this particular lawsuit, we’ll review it in details, but we disagree with the central allegations. Job levels and promotions are determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees and must pass multiple levels of review, including checks to make sure there is no gender bias in these decisions.”

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