LONDON: Google agreed on Monday to pay $118 million to approximately 15,500 female employees to settle a class-action lawsuit over gender discrimination in pay.
Additionally, the big tech company agreed to bring in an independent third-party expert to analyze Google’s hiring practices and pay equity.
“While we strongly believe in the equity of our policies and practices, after nearly five years of litigation, both sides agreed that resolution of the matter, without any admission or findings, was in the best interest of everyone,” Chris Pappas, a Google spokesman, said in a statement. “We’re very pleased to reach this agreement.”
Google has analyzed pay equity over the last nine years and raised employees’ pay when warranted, he added.
The lawsuit against Google was first brought in 2017 by former female employees who claimed that they were being paid less than their male counterparts.
“As a woman who’s spent her entire career in the tech industry, I’m optimistic that the actions Google has agreed to take as part of this settlement will ensure more equity for women,” said Holly Pease, one of the plaintiffs.
This is not the first time a US-based tech company was accused of gender pay discrimination. Indeed, in early May, LinkedIn announced that it had reached an agreement with the US Department of Labor to pay $1.8 million to female employees to settle pay discrimination claims.
US labor investigators said LinkedIn had, between 2015 and 2017, denied 686 women equal pay at its San Francisco office and at its headquarters in California.
The women had been paid “at a statistically significant lower rate” than their male counterparts, even after taking into account “legitimate explanatory factors,” the investigators said.
While women in the US have generally been paid less than men, LinkedIn is obliged under a 1965 executive order to provide “equal opportunity” to its employees and cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, gender identity or other factors.