Less than a week after Equal Pay Day, government investigators have accused the tech giant Google of shortchanging women who are doing similar work to men, according to The Guardian. The findings were disclosed at A Friday court hearing in San Francisco, the hotspot of Silicon Valley.
"We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce," Janette Wipper, a Labor Department regional director, testified.
Janet Herold, regional solicitor for the DoL, noted that the investigation is not yet complete, but acknowledged that the agency has "received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters.”
She continued, “The government’s analysis at this point indicates that discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry.”
Google has vehemently denied the allegations, claiming it does not have a gender pay gap.
The DoL investigation comes after the agency filed a lawsuit against Google in January, seeking to compel the company to handover salary data and relevant documents.
As a federal contractor, Google is obligated to allow the DoL investigate and copy records about its compliance with equal opportunity laws. Google, though, has repeatedly refused to provide the data, which violated the contractural obligations with the government, according to the lawsuit.
A company spokesperson said that Google had provided "hundreds of thousands of records" to the government. Wipper said that the department found compensation disparities in a 2015 snapshot of salaries and needed additional documents to evaluate the problem.
Am attorney for the DoL said, “For some reason or another, Google wants to hide the pay-related information.”