A male Google engineer has been fired for circulating a 10-page internal memo criticizing the company’s initiatives to promote race and gender diversity (or, really, because said memo went viral), and it appears that the sexism association will be adhering to the brand for some time to come.
On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that more than 60 current and former female Google employees are discussing the possibility of bringing a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming they experienced sexism in the workplace and pay disparities.
Civil Rights attorney James Finberg, who’s working on behalf of the female employees, told the Guardian that some of the women claim they are paid less than their male counterparts for the same work, and some say they’ve had difficulty receiving promotions due to a “culture that is hostile to women.”
A separate serious inquiry into Google’s alleged wage gap has already been underway for some time. In April, the Department of Labor announced it had evidence of “systemic compensation disparities” that run afoul of federal employment laws. DOL regional director, Janette Wipper, testified in a San Francisco court at the time, “We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.”
Finberg told the Guardian that several of the women he interviewed to build this latest potential lawsuit against Google said male colleagues made $40,000 more per year for doing the same work. About half of the women Finberg interviewed still work for Google and around half of those that left said they did so, at least in part, due to discrimination.
Google has repeatedly denied the existence of a gendered wage discrepancy and a Google spokesperson told the Guardian on Tuesday, “Sixty people is a really small sample size.” It is, however, a rather alarming number of women whose workplace experiences have left them with a desire to sue the shit out of Google