In a bid to settle allegations of systemic discrimination with the US Department of Labor, Google has agreed to pay USD 2.6 million in back wages to workers. The amount will be paid to thousands of present as well as former employees. The search engine giant was accused of allegations of discrimination in hiring and pay practices. This illegally disadvantaged Asians and women. The company has also agreed to set aside USD 250,000 a year for the next five years in order to settle any potential pay equity adjustments that may come up. This will take the total financial commitment of Google to USD 3.8 million. The amount is just like a drop in the bucket for Google as the market valuation of its parent company Alphabet is around USD 1.28 trillion.
The company will also have to conduct a gender pay equity study, review its pay and hiring practices and provide details about steps taken to reduce the gender pay gap. This will be done under the deal signed on January 15. The settlement comes after it was found during an audit that the company failed to comply with a 1965 executive order. It bars discrimination in compensation and hiring of federal contractors. The disparities were found at several locations like Washington state, California, and New York. It was found that Google paid female engineers less than comparable male employees’ between 2014 and 2017.
The Department of Labour also found that it discriminated against Asian applicants for the same job. Following this, Google has now agreed to pay USD 2.6 million as a settlement and also taken some steps to go toward pay equality. Google spokesperson Jennifer Rodstrom said that the company believes in paying everyone based upon the work and not on who they are or from where. “We are running internal pay equity analysis for the past 8 years. The aim of the analysis is to identify and address any kind of discrepancies. We are pleased that finally the matter has been resolved,” Rodstrom said. Around six thousand women and Asian applicants are set to receive back pay over the alleged discrimination. For the uninitiated, this is not the first time when the tech giant has faced such allegations.