New York residents may be aware that the internet search giant Google has been accused of racial and sexual discrimination and nurturing a workplace environment hostile to women and minorities. The technology company won a victory of sorts on Dec. 4 when a San Francisco Superior Court judge dismissed a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of all of its female employees. However, celebrations at the company's headquarters were likely subdued as the plaintiffs were given 30 days to refile their lawsuit on behalf of only women who claim to have faced pay discrimination.
The judge also pointed out that two of the named plaintiffs in the case failed to establish that they performed comparable duties to male Google employees who the lawsuit claims were paid more. One of the attorneys representing the three women named in the workplace discrimination lawsuit said that a revised complaint would be filed before the deadline expires. Records indicate that Google's workforce is predominantly male and white.
Google is one of several leading Silicon Valley technology companies to have been investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor for alleged workplace discrimination and accused of violating wage and hours laws. The DOL sued Oracle in January 2017 for allegedly paying white men more than its female or minority workers, and court records indicate that Microsoft and Twitter are facing similar litigation. Qualcomm reportedly paid $19.5 million to settle pay discrepancy claims in 2016.
Attorneys with experience in this area may urge employers to address these and other types of allegations before lawsuits are filed and accusations become public. Employment law attorneys could also suggest revisions to company policies and procedures that could make litigation less likely.