Google has agreed to pay $118 million to resolve a gender-discrimination class action complaint involving about 15,500 female employees, according to Bloomberg.
The settlement occurred as a result of a lawsuit brought by three women; Kelly Ellis, Holly Pace and Kelly Wessori, accusing the company of underpaid female employees in violation of California’s equal pay law, citing a $17,000 salary discrepancy. The complaint also claims that Google forces women into lower-level positions, resulting in lower wages and bonuses compared to their male counterparts.
The plaintiffs wanted their complaint to turn into a class action lawsuit that would involve any woman who had worked at Google in the past four years, starting in 2017. By request, the settlement now covers approximately 15,500 female employees in 236 job titles in California since September 14, 2013.
In addition to the financial relief, the settlement requires that Google’s employment settlement policy and pay equity studies be evaluated by an independent expert. Over the next three years, an external settlement observer will oversee the post-settlement work.
The plaintiffs believe that if this plan were implemented, men and women would be equally compensated for equal work. Furthermore, the judge is supposed to agree to the terms of the settlement at the June 21 hearing.
If the court subsequently approves the settlement, the third-party official will divide the settlement funds according to an objective formula for each person who qualifies to be part of the class.