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Google agrees to $3.8 million payout to settle US discrimination lawsuit

Google agrees to $3.8 million payout to settle US discrimination lawsuit
Tech giant Google has agreed to a $3.8 million settlement with the US Department of Labor after a lawsuit accusing the company of “systemic compensation and hiring discrimination” with thousands of women and Asian applicants.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs investigated Google’s actions between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2017, finding differences in the company’s hiring rates between female and Asian individuals and other potential employees.

Google will distribute $1.3 million in backdated pay to 2,565 employees, and $1.2mn to over 3,000 applicants, as part of the settlement, as well as agreeing to set aside $250,000 a year for five years to rectify pay equity issues that could arise in the future.

Announcing the settlement, the Department of Labor praised the agreement, stating that “regardless of how complex or the size of the workforce, we remain committed to enforcing equal opportunity laws to ensure non-discrimination and equity in the workforce.”

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However, with Google’s parent company, Alphabet currently having a market cap of $1.28 trillion, the $3.8 million financial punishment is likely only a dent in the company’s earnings.

“We believe everyone should be paid based upon the work they do, not who they are,” Google wrote in a statement, claiming that it invests “heavily to make our hiring and compensation processes fair and unbiased.”

Google has come under fire in recent years over its alleged treatment of employees, particularly women, resulting in a mass walkout at its offices globally in 2018 due to accusations about how female staff were treated after making misconduct allegations about senior staff.

The company has also faced criticism for reportedly attempting to stop employees from unionizing, having terminated the employment of four staff members who supported protests at Google.

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