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Google Agrees to Pay $22 Million to Settle Pay Discrimination Allegations

By Andrew Denney | July 01, 2022

In lawsuit years, this pay discrimination case appears to have been resolved with an eight-figure settlement about as fast as Googling something.

On Friday, attorneys for a proposed class of more than 8,200 female and nonwhite Google employees—who filed a complaint in a Brooklyn state court just two days prior—announced that the technology behemoth has agreed to pay $22 million to settle claims that they were assigned compensation classifications that led them to get paid less than their white and male peers, regardless of their qualifications and job performance. 

The comparatively lower “job levels” are assigned to women and minority workers when they are hired and continually impede opportunities for increased pay as they stay with the company, the plaintiffs alleged.

The relatively short time between the suit getting filed and the announcement of the settlement agreement is due to extensive talks between Google and the lawyers for the two female plaintiffs named in the case prior to filing the complaint in Brooklyn. According to court papers, the company was made aware of the plaintiffs’ intent to sue in September 2020 and hammered out the details of the settlement in mediation sessions held over subsequent months.

In addition to the payment, Google, which as part of the settlement denies any wrongdoing, has also agreed to work with independent experts to ensure equity in its pay level system, according to court documents.

“It’s truly fulfilling to reach this result for thousands of class members and to shine light on the experiences of women and individuals of color at Google,” said Maya Jumper of Roche Freedman, who represents one of the plaintiffs. “Plaintiffs, and the women and men who shared their stories, have made a difference at Google and advanced pay equity standards in the tech industry. Google now has an opportunity to serve as a model for the industry both in technological advancement and workplace equality.” 

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

The Brooklyn settlement comes just weeks after it was announced that Google agreed to pay $118 million to settle a similar class-action lawsuit filed in a state court in San Francisco.

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