New law­suit ac­cuses Google of bias against women

Three ex-em­ploy­ees say they weren’t paid as much, didn’t have chance for ad­vance­ment

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Jes­sica Guynn

Google is be­ing sued for gen­der pay dis­crim­i­na­tion, turn­ing up the heat on the In­ter­net gi­ant al­ready fac­ing al­le­ga­tions it short­changes women.

Three fe­male for­mer Google em­ploy­ees are seek­ing class-ac- tion sta­tus for the com­plaint filed Thurs­day in San Fran­cisco Su­pe­rior Court.

The law­suit comes as the La­bor Depart­ment in­ves­ti­gates sys­temic pay dis­crim­i­na­tion at Google. Google says its own anal­y­sis found no pay gap.

In a state­ment to USA TO­DAY, Google said it would review the law­suit but dis­agreed with “the cen­tral al­le­ga­tions.”

The law­suit is be­ing brought by three women — Kelly El­lis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri — who say they quit Google af­ter be­ing placed at lower job lev­els, re­sult­ing in lower pay and deny­ing them pro­mo­tions and moves to other teams that would ad­vance their ca­reers.

The plain­tiffs al­lege women at all lev­els of Google are paid less than men and that women are as­signed to lower job tiers with less op­por­tu­nity for up­ward mo­bil­ity.

“Women should have the same op­por­tu­ni­ties as men, and re­ceive equal pay for sub­stan­tially sim­i­lar work,” Wisuri said in a state­ment.

At­tor­ney James Fin­berg of Alt­shuler Ber­zon who, with at­tor­ney Kelly M. Der­mody of Li­eff Cabraser Heimann & Bern­stein, is rep­re­sent­ing the women, says Google long has been aware of the prob­lem and has done noth­ing to fix it.

The La­bor Depart­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion prompted Fin­berg to ask fe­male Google em­ploy­ees to come for­ward if they had ex­pe­ri­enced pay dis­crim­i­na­tion. He and the other lawyers heard from 90 cur­rent and for­mer em­ploy­ees.

“That’s a strong out­pour­ing of dis­sat­is­fac­tion,” Fin­berg said.

MARTIN E. KLIMEK, USA TO­DAY

Google did its own anal­y­sis and says it found no pay gap.

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