The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is considering accusing Google of systemic and "quite extreme" gender pay discrimination, alleging that the Mountain View-based tech giant is paying its female employees less than it pays men occupying the same positions within the company. The DOL recently started an investigation into the matter and has so far found compelling evidence that the Alphabet-owned company discriminates against its female employees, thus breaking federal employment laws. The agency's Regional Director Janette Wipper testified on the investigation on Friday, telling a San Francisco-based court that the DOL's current findings indicate Google's entire workforce in the country is affected by the company's practices that discriminate against women. While the agency's probe still hasn't been completed, this latest turn of events indicates Google might be officially charged with violating federal employment laws later this year.
Legal representatives of the Mountain View-based Internet giant have so far only denied the allegations of inequities within the company but have yet to elaborate on the matter. Google's potential violations of federal employment laws came to light as part of a hearing on a lawsuit the DOL filed against the company in January in an effort to obtain its salary data and certain files on its employees. Being a federal contractor, Google should allow the agency to inspect some basic data on its workforce and make sure the company isn't violating any equal opportunity laws, but the company refused to cooperate with the DOL after the federal department launched a new compliance review of the firm last year. That turn of events led to the aforementioned lawsuit which Google previously described as being overly vague and asking for records that reveal confidential data, adding that the DOL already received hundreds of thousands of records on Google's employees.
The DOL is specifically seeking older salary snapshots from Google, as the agency is convinced that the tech giant had a gender pay gap problem in 2015 and is now trying to determine the cause of the phenomenon. As part of that investigation, the DOL is not only seeking employee data but also wants the opportunity to confidentially interview individual employees. An update on the situation is expected to follow later this year.