Three former Google employees filed a lawsuit [complaint] Thursday accusing the company of wage discrimination against women. Plaintiffs Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelly Wisuri filed the complaint as a class action lawsuit in California Superior Court in San Fransisco. The complaint alleges that Google “discriminated and continues to discriminate against its female employees by systematically paying them lower compensation” than male employees. Among other allegations, the plaintiffs accuse Google of violating the California Equal Pay Act. The complaint cites to the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’s (OFCCP) 2015 investigation of Google, stating:
OFCCP’s analysis showed six to seven standard deviations between pay for men and women in nearly every job classification in 2015. Two standard deviations is considered statistically significant; six or seven standard deviations means there is a one in 100 million chance that the disparity is occurring randomly or by chance.
If class action is permitted, the plaintiffs will represent all women who have worked for Google since 2013.
Ending sex and gender discrimination in the workforce has been a political and legal battle throughout the last decade. In April the US Department of Labor accused [JURIST report] Google of engaging in compensation discrimination against female employees. Also in April the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled [text, PDF] that calculating salaries based solely on prior salaries does not violate the Equal Pay Act [text] even when it results in women being paid less [JURIST report] than men for the same job. The Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Oracle America, Inc. in January alleging [JURIST report] that the company engaged in a systemic practice of paying their Caucasian male workers more than other employees.