Oracle vows to fight 'meritless' lawsuit over pay discrimination

Oracle vows to fight 'meritless' lawsuit over pay discrimination
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Oracle is firing back at the Department of Labor after a lawsuit alleging that the software maker underpaid women and minority employees by over $400 million.

“This meritless lawsuit is based on false allegations and a seriously flawed process within the OFCCP [Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs] that relies on cherry picked statistics rather than reality," Oracle Executive Vice President and General Counsel Dorian Daley said in a statement Wednesday. "We fiercely disagree with the spurious claims and will continue in the process to prove them false.

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“We are in compliance with our regulatory obligations, committed to equality, and proud of our employees,” Daley added.

The Labor Department in a filing against Oracle on Tuesday claimed the company underpaid women and ethnic minorities by as much as 25 percent compared to work done by white men. The alleged practices impacted more than 5,000 women, more than 11,000 Asians and just under 30 African Americans from 2013 through 2016. The suit alleged that the discrimination still continues to the present day.

“OFCCP’s preliminary analyses of the limited information produced in discovery so far shows that Oracle suppressed starting salaries for its female and non-White employees, assigned them to lower level positions and depressed their wages over the years they worked at Oracle,” the filing claimed. 

The Labor Department also said the company showed a strong preference for Asian college graduates in its recruitment over black and Hispanic graduates. 

The Tuesday filing is part of a two-year old lawsuit brought by the government examining unfair pay practices involving government contractors. The filing says that Oracle’s government contracts are currently worth approximately $100 million per year.