California Superior Court State Judge Mary Wiss dismissed a class action lawsuit against Google for unfair pay practices. The lawsuit claimed Google paid its female employees less than its male employees.
Wiss said the claims against Google were too vague and that they needed to demonstrate how specific groups of women were impacted by the company’s pay practices. She also said the plaintiffs failed to show they did similar work to the men who were allegedly paid more.
The lawsuit against Google was filed in September on behalf of three women – Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri. The plaintiffs claimed the company placed them in lower career tracks than their male co-workers, causing them to earn lower salaries and bonuses. They asked Google to pay them for their lost wages and change their allegedly discriminatory hiring practices.
“Google has discriminated and continues to discriminate against its female employees by systematically paying them lower compensation than Google pays to male employees performing substantially similar work under similar working conditions,” the lawsuit said.
Google has denied these accusations.
Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said the company has “extensive systems in place to make sure we pay fairly” and that they work to fix individual discrepancies or problems they see.
Wiss gave the plaintiffs 30 days to file a new complaint on behalf of only those women who dealt with pay discrimination.
James Finberg, the lawyer who represented the three plaintiffs, said he will file a new complaint in January that “makes clear that Google violates the California Equal Pay Act … by paying women less than men for substantially equal work in nearly every job classification.”
Google isn’t the only company that has been accused of sex bias. In October, a lawsuit was filed against Uber Technologies Inc., claiming the company pays women and people of color less than their peers and doesn’t promote them as often as males, whites and Asians. The three women who filed the complaint said Uber violated California’s Equal Pay Act.
Uber uses a stack ranking system to measure their employees’ performance. This system requires supervisors to rank employees from worst to best, which leads to subjective decisions about their performance.
“Female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued compared to their male and white or Asian American peers because female employees and employees of color receive, on average, lower rankings despite equal or better performance,” the lawsuit claims.
Just in July, the ride sharing company said it modified salaries to ensure women and minorities were getting paid fairly.
“To date, our compensation approach has been similar to that of other pre-IPO companies, but as we’ve grown it’s become clear that we need to adjust our philosophy and continue to increase transparency going forward,” the company explained.