As part of an ongoing DoL investigation, the government has collected information that suggests the internet search giant is violating federal employment laws with its salaries for women.
Janette Wipper, a DoL regional director, testified in court in San Francisco that investigators had found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.
Apparently the evidence of discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even by the terrible standards of the tech industry.
The allegations emerged at a hearing in federal court as part of a lawsuit the DoL filed against Google in January, seeking to compel the company to give salary data and documents to the government.
Google is a federal contractor, which means it is required to allow the DoL to inspect and copy records and information about its its compliance with equal opportunity laws.
Google, however, repeatedly refused to hand over the data, which was a violation of its contractual obligations with the federal government. It claimed that the request was “overbroad”, revealed confidential information, or violated employees’ privacy.
Lisa Barnett Sween, one of Google’s attorneys, testified in opening remarks that the DoL’s request constituted a “fishing expedition that has absolutely no relevance to the compliance review”. She said the request was an unconstitutional violation of the company’s fourth amendment right to protection from unreasonable searches.
Google insists however that it is not doing anything evil and that there was no gender pay gap in Google. In fact the company recently claimed that it has closed its gender pay gap globally and provides equal pay across races in the US.
“Other than making an unfounded statement which we heard for the first time in court, the DoL hasn’t provided any data, or shared its methodology”, Google said in a statement.
Google might not have too much to worry about. Recently there has been uncertainty about the future of these kinds of aggressive DoL enforcement efforts under Donald “grab them by the pussy” Trump. The president has rolled back Obama-era protections for female workers.
An Oracle boss, Safra Catz who has also been sued by the DoL in a similar case, has joined Trump’s transition team.