Department of Labor sues Oracle for discrimination

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The Department of Labor is suing Oracle for alleged pay discrimination against women, African-Americans and Asians, as well as for favoring Asian employees for technical roles.

The lawsuit is the result of an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs review of the company’s practices at its Redwood Shores, Calif., headquarters, according to a release from the Labor Department. According to the release, Oracle refused to provide “routine requests” for employment data and records, including prior-year employee compensation information, certain hiring data and employee complaints of discrimination.

The agency claims that it’s only filing the suit after a year of waiting for Oracle to cooperate.

“Federal contractors are required to comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws,” said OFCCP acting Director Thomas M. Dowd. “We filed this lawsuit to enforce those requirements.”

Labor’s lawsuit alleges that Oracle also favored Asian applicants, especially ones from India, through hiring strategies and referral bonuses.

{mosads}If the suit is successful, people affected by the alleged discrimination will receive relief  for “lost wages, stock, interest, front wages, salary adjustments, promotions and all other lost benefits of employment and a reform of discriminatory policies.” The lawsuit estimates that more than 1,000 female Oracle employees could have been affected by the alleged discrimination.

Oracle dismissed the suit as political and defended its record as an equal opportunity employer.

“The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit,” an Oracle spokesperson said. “Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit.”

Oracle CEO Safra Catz is a member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. 

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