Google just announced that it will be paying a sum of $2.5 million to over 5,500 employees and job applicants affected by alleged systematic pay and hiring discrimination. The decision was made after the US Department of Labor identified that female software engineers were being underpaid and the hiring rate differences disadvantaged female and Asian applicants in particular.
According to Google, the company will be providing $1,353,052 in back pay and interest to a total of 2,565 female engineers, and $1,232,000 in back pay and interest to 1,757 female engineering applicants along with 1,219 Asian engineering applicants for “engineering positions not hired.”
The company further added that it will set aside $1,250,000 for pay-equity adjustments, for a total of $3.8 million to resolve the issue. According to the Department of Labor, the amount has been reserved for engineers residing in Mountain View, Seattle, Kirkland, and New York, which house 50% of Google’s engineering staff in the US.
The conflict between Google’s employees and its management has been going on for ages. More than 20,000 Google employees protested against the company with a walk-out in 2018, against its handling of sexual harassment allegations. Moreover, about 230 employees and contractors recently formed an organization by the name of Alphabet Workers Union, which now has more than 800 members who typically get left out of the high salaries and benefits that are granted to full-time employees.
Regarding the discrepancies that Google has been criticized for, a spokesperson of the company said, “We’re pleased to have resolved this matter related to allegations from the 2014-2017 audits and remain committed to diversity and equity and to supporting our people in a way that allows them to do their best work.”