Google employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company, alleging that Google was underpaying its female employees. According to the settlement, Google did not admit to offering its female employees less pay than its male employees, giving women positions at lower levels than its male employees, or failing to pay employees what they claimed they were due.
According to the plaintiffs’ law firm prosecuting the matter, 15,500 women are subject to the terms of the settlement. Google has employed these employees since 2013. Kelly Ellis, the lead plaintiff, will receive $75,000 as part of the settlement. The three other named plaintiffs will receive $50,000 each. They are also entitled to a share of the net settlement fund.
After the attorneys receive their portion of the payment, the net settlement fund will retain $86 million. Once the attorney’s fees and deductions are apportioned, the settlement will allow each class member to receive approximately $5,500. According to the lawsuit, Google paid women an average of $16,794 less than men in similar jobs in stocks, bonuses, and base pay.
According to the lawsuit, the net settlement fund payments will go to women for the risks they took in participating in this lawsuit. The risks included the potential for harm to their reputations or careers and the time they took to participate in assisting the lawsuit and the ultimate settlement.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Google’s practices were violations of the California Equal Pay Act and other laws. A judge must now approve the settlement in the San Francisco County Superior Court.
Google was a company that enjoyed a reputation as an egalitarian workplace, but the lawsuit has been a public embarrassment for the executives. At the same time, Microsoft and Oracle also had lawsuits against them for gender discrimination.
The plaintiffs’ law firm stated that Google would require an independent expert to analyze the company’s leveling-at-hire practices. The external settlement monitor will be in place for the next three years as it supervises Google’s post-settlement activities. In addition to that, an independent labor economist will be charged with reviewing Google’s pay equity studies. They believe that these remedies will keep Google from hiring women at substantially lower pay than men in similar positions. They will also ensure that Google’s leveling practices will be equitable from this day forward.
Google employed Holly Pease for approximately 10.5 years in various technical positions. She stated that she has been in the tech industry for her entire career, and the settlement makes her feel optimistic that Google will take action to ensure that the company is equitable for women.

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If you have been the target of gender and pay equity discrimination in the workplace, working with a qualified and knowledgeable attorney is often the best way to address these issues effectively. At Risman & Risman, we provide competent legal assistance for those facing gender and pay equity discrimination in the workplace. Call us today at 212-233-6400 to schedule a free initial consultation with our team.
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