Google, which already is being investigated by federal authorities over its alleged pay practices, was sued by three of its former employees who have alleged the company pays its female employees less than male counterparts for similar work.
The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco, California on Thursday by Holly Pease, Kelli Wisuri and Kelly Ellis and seeks class action status to cover all women who have been employed at Google during the last four years.
Google discriminated and continues to against female employees through systematically paying lower compensation to them than it does its male employees who are performing very similar work, under working conditions that are substantially the same, reads the complaint.
A Google spokesperson said that the company continues to work very hard to create a very good workplace for all its employees, and give everyone the opportunity to thrive.
The spokesperson added that the company will review the lawsuit in detail, but disagrees with the allegations. Jobs levels as well as job promotions are determined by committees for both hiring and promoting, and multiple levels must be passed, including being checked that no gender bias exists in the decision making.
Extensive systems exists at Google, to ensure pay is fair, said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson added that if problems or discrepancies are seen during one of the review processes, the Google team works to fix them ensuring that everyone receives equal treatment.
Google is being investigated by the Labor Department over the claims made that it did not pay some of its female employees fairly.
The allegations come from a lawsuit in January where the Labor Department asked the Internet giant to hand over data related to compensation.
In a blog post from April, a vice president at Google of people operations Eileen Naughton wrote that Google was surprised by the allegations and they did not come with supporting data nor methodology.
In this Thursday suit, the three former Google employees allege that they had been paid less than male workers for work that was similar and had been placed lower on the job ladder, leading them to not have the same opportunities to be promoted, paid higher bonuses and receive raises.
Ellis, hired in 2010, had similar experience to a male co-worker who was hired a few weeks later. Despite similar experience and starting work around the same time, her male co-worker was given Level 4 software engineering status which gave him higher pay and more opportunities.
Ellis, who received excellent reviews for job performance was one rung below, shows the court complaint.