Three women who previously worked for Google filed a gender pay discrimination lawsuit against their former employer on Thursday, with their case having class-action properties and the potential to attract more plaintiffs. The litigation was proposed in a state court in San Francisco, California, and may be approved for trial come early 2018. The three plaintiffs include a former manager, ex-communications expert, and a former software engineer of the Alphabet-owned tech giant, with the trio accusing the firm of systematically underpaying women across a variety of roles and experience levels, in addition to alleging that the firm is appointing women to positions which have lower chances of leading to promotions, hence sabotaging their careers.
A Google spokesperson dismissed the accusations in a brief statement earlier this week, noting how all hiring and promotion decisions are being made by specifically appointed committees instead of individuals precisely with the goal of avoiding any kind of bias, gender discrimination included. The plaintiffs are claiming that Google's pay structure "has not entered the 21st century" and are suing the company for violating a number of California laws mandating equal pay for comparable work across genders over the last four years. The case may find some footing amid similar allegations made by the United States Department of Labor which is still in the process of trying to prove that Google's 2015 pay bill is evidence of a significant gender pay gap within the company's ranks, a notion that the firm strongly denies. The DOL recently faced a setback in its case against Google, with an administrative judge ruling that its latest data request issued to the company is "burdensome and intrusive." The federal agency appealed that decision last month as it continues striving to obtain contact information for more than 20,000 Google employees who it wants to interview in order to corroborate its claims.
The Mountain View, California-based Internet giant remains firm in its stance that the DOL's accusations are baseless and misleading, claiming that it was already more than cooperative when initially faced with the agency's annual audit to which it was subjected for being a federal contractor. The Thursday lawsuit filed against the company is the first class-action litigation initiated against Google for supposed gender pay discrimination.