A lawsuit that was filed against Google in 2017 alleging pay discrimination in violation of California’s Equal Pay Act has been settled. According to the allegations, female employees were paid less than their male counterparts in similar positions, a clear violation of the law. 

California Equal Pay Act

The California Equal Pay Act (California EPA) is a comprehensive law that seeks to eliminate gender-based wage discrimination and make sure women in the workplace are afforded the same compensation as men for performing substantially similar work. The act, passed in 2015 and like the federal EPA, applies to all employers regardless of size and requires that workers who perform substantially similar work must receive equal pay for equal work, despite gender. Therefore, employers must provide equal pay for employees irrespective of their sex, race, ethnicity, and age.

Like the federal Equal Pay Act, the California law aims to foster pay equity between genders by prohibiting wage disparity based on gender identity or expression. It also restricts an employer’s ability to inquire into a job applicant’s salary history and eliminates the practice of employers using salary history information when deciding on hiring or setting wages. Furthermore, it prohibits employers from retaliating against employees seeking legal action due to unequal pay.

Lawsuit Against Google and Settlement

In 2017, three female employees sued Google for violations of the California EPA, alleging that Google paid women less than men for equal work. The lawsuit was premised upon allegations that Google has paid, and continues to pay, its female employees across numerous positions systematically lower compensation (including salary, stock, and bonuses) than Google has paid and continues to pay male employees performing substantially equal or similar work. 

The historic settlement provides $118 million in monetary relief to female employees of Google dating back to 2013. Additionally, the settlement details many forms of pay equity review processes to which Google will adhere in the coming years – procedures designed to analyze and ensure that Google employees are paid equitably for comparable work, including respect for gender equity. 

Sommers Schwartz Helps Employees Protect Their Rights

If you believe you have been a victim of gender-based discrimination, Sommers Schwartz can help. Speak with an experienced EPA attorney who will scrutinize any alleged violations and pursue a solid case on your behalf. Contact us today to confidentially discuss your case and learn how we can help.

Jesse Young

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Jesse Young

Jesse Young represents clients in serious employment disputes, such as severance negotiations, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing activity, employment contracts, terminations, and compliance. In addition, he has appeared in hundreds of wage-and-hour lawsuits and hundreds more arbitrations arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act and similar state laws.