Despite the strides made for gender equality in our society, the gender wage gap remains.
The Federal Equal Pay Act states that men and women must be paid equal wages for equal work. Yet, pay discrimination based on gender is still a persistent issue that women face in the workplace, as highlighted by a prominent case against Google.
Google facing ongoing wage discrimination case
Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo LLC is not involved in this case, but it is important to highlight the serious issues it involves.
In 2017, three former Google employees filed a class-action lawsuit in California. They claimed that Google enforced widespread and pervasive wage discrimination at the company, based on gender. The plaintiffs claim that female employees in several different positions receive:
- A lower salary;
- Smaller bonuses; and
- Fewer stock options.
One plaintiff, Kelly Ellis, even reported that she left Google because of this discrimination and the “sexist culture” at the company.
Many people might wonder: how can such discrimination still occur nowadays? The plaintiffs state that Google employs a policy tying current salary to previous pay. Several companies do this, though the fairness of this practice has been called into question as it often only serves to perpetuate the pay gap between men and women.
Google denies these accusations. However, a recent study could make a considerable difference in this case.
A new study supports the lawsuit claims
David Neumark, an economics professor at the University of California Irvine conducted a study that seems to strengthen the claims against Google.
In this study, Neumark found that:
- Female employees at Google could be missing out on $17,000 each year because of wage discrimination; and
- The probability of this pay gap existing by chance rather than by purposeful discrimination is 1 in 100.
This study could lend considerable weight to the plaintiffs’ claims as they seek a resolution in this case.
What does this mean for New Jersey employees?
This case might be taking place across the country in California, but New Jersey employees in the tech industry should understand the details of this case. After all, wage discrimination is not a unique problem to California or Google.
Recent studies have found that it is a widespread problem in the tech industry as a whole, with more than half of women in this field earning less than their male counterparts. All employees – whether in the tech industry or not – should be aware of this persisting issue to ensure they receive the pay they are rightfully due.