Google is set to payout in the region of $3.8 million in order to settle hiring pay biases. The Department of Labour published a document outlining the settlement reached by the company over various disputes.
This all comes as employees across Google and its parent company, Alphabet has begun steps to start a union. This news emerged at the start of 2021 and aimed to help create more of a level playing field amongst employees and contractors.
The union itself has now reached 700 members in just a few weeks. Thus demonstrating that it has gained some traction amidst various claims of worker injustice.
This move from Google set make pay settlements following claims of bias likely only strengthens the move for a union. As reported by Reuters, the claims arose from a routine compliance audit several years ago. Google is said to be please to have resolved the matter.
Google to pay $3.8 million to employees over pay disputes
It has now emerged at $2.6 million of the total will go to employees as back pay as well as to settle allegations that Google underpaid women and overlooked certain groups for job listings. These included women and Asians.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that Google underpaid 2,783 women in its software engineering group.
Investigators also found that Asians were at a disadvantage when it came to hiring rates during 2016 and 2017. These hiring and pay biases resulted in Google settling with such a high amount.
The company has set aside $2.6 million in back pay to 5,500 employees. Google now also faces calls to review hiring and salary practices.
The rest of the money will go towards pay adjustments for engineers in Mountain View, Kirkland, Seattle and New York. These will take place over the next five years and any unused funds will go towards diversity efforts at Google.
Currently, Google does undergo annual pay audits. However, due to its makeup in terms of race and gender, the company still faces scrutiny for not being representative enough.
Google has responded to the situation reiterating its commitment to diversity. It read “we believe everyone should be paid based upon the work they do, not who they are, and invest heavily to make our hiring and compensation processes fair and unbiased”.
The fact that Google has settled over this issue is promising as it demonstrates that employees have gained more power in the company. However, whether it will result in long-lasting change is another perhaps more pressing issue.