Google hits back, says it has 'no gender pay gap'

Google hits back, says it has 'no gender pay gap'
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Google is hitting back at the Labor Department's claims that it doesn't pay female employees fairly, saying its own investigation finds "no gender pay gap."

In a blog post on Tuesday, the company said its own reviews found that there is not any gender inequality in how it pays its workers. And Google insisted it has a system in place to correct any potential gender pay discrepancies.

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“It’s very important to us that men and women who join Google in the same role are compensated on a level playing field, when they start and throughout their careers here,” wrote Eileen Naughton, Google’s vice president of “people operations,” the company's human resources equivalent.

“Our analysis gives us confidence that there is no gender pay gap at Google.”

Naughton said that Google was “taken aback” by the charge from the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs that the company did not pay women fairly.

The agency said an ongoing investigation showed Google could be violating federal laws over its pay of women.

“We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce,” Janette Wipper, a Labor Department regional director, said in a San Francisco court on Friday.

The charge came out in a court hearing over a lawsuit that the department filed against Google in January for access to its payment data.

Google responded to the Labor Department’s allegation in a statement to the Guardian on Friday, writing that “the [Department of Labor] hasn’t provided any data, or shared its methodology.”

Google previously came under scrutiny for its gender pay practices in 2015, when then-employee Erica Baker created a spreadsheet that employees at the company could voluntarily put their salaries in. She said the data “highlighted not great things.”

The department’s dispute with Google is part of a broader set of suits against Silicon Valley companies over alleged discrimination. In January, the agency sued Oracle for pay discrimination against women, as well as African-Americans and Asians. In September, the agency sued Palantir for allegedly discriminating against Asian job applicants.