Google Is Now Being Accused of Gender Pay Discrimination In Their Daycare Program

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

More categories of workers have joined the class-action lawsuit against Google on Wednesday, this time from the company’s childcare facilities where one woman alleges male teachers were given higher starting salaries than female teachers. Around 147 women were employed there, and three men.


The Guardian reports that a former employee named Heidi Lamar, who quit working at Google in 2017, alleges that two of the three male preschool teachers were given higher starting salaries than the majority of women teachers. According to Lamar, she was hired in 2013 as a Level 1 teacher, receiving $18.51 an hour despite having five years teaching experience and master’s degree.

In March of 2017, the boycott for International Women’s Day inspired some water cooler conversation about compensation, and Lamar was shocked to discover her male colleague had been hired around the same time as a Level 2 teacher, making $21, or about 13% more than her. He had three years experience and no master’s degree. She’s since discovered another male teacher hired at Level 2, but only one female teacher who received the honor—and that woman had ten years teaching experience.

Lamar lodged a complaint, but was eventually told there was no evidence of discrimination found by the HR department. However, they refused to provide any data to support their claims. She was told that at job interviews a potential employee could receive higher placement if they performed well. Men are just so great at interviews! Lamar resigned shortly afterwards.

“It feels really scary to speak up, but I do it for the women I work with and the women who are still at Google. We deserve to make livable wages,” Lamar told the Guardian. Google declined to hand over any data regarding Level 1 and 2 teachers and gender breakdown, but did offer this statement:

“We work really hard to create a great workplace for everyone, and to give everyone the chance to thrive here. Job levels and promotions are determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees, and must pass multiple levels of review, including checks to make sure there is no bias in these decisions.”

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



This is not just a Google problem sadly. Teaching and child care are both very gendered in treatment and pay. It’s a classic “women dominate the field, but men somehow have the most prestigious positions/make the most money” situation. With teaching, women predominantly teach younger children, and men get pulled towards older kids/college (very broad strokes here). People seem to think that teaching young kids is just organic and comes from the ovaries (as opposed to studying child development, pedagogy, etc), and thus isn’t, like, hard or deserving of decent pay. I mean, I’m a lady, don’t I just intuitively know how to care for children? Whereas what men do, that’s the real work of teaching.

I see this a lot, and I find it really frustrating.

ETA: Unrelated, but “Heidi Lamarr” is a great name, a nice subtle nod to Hedy.