US tech giant Google 'discriminates against and underpays women'
The US Department of Labour (DoL) has accused Google of discriminating its female employees by paying them less than their male counterparts.
According to a report in the Guardian on Saturday, The DoL, which is investigating the case, claims to have evidence of "systemic compensation disparities".
The allegations surface days after Google announced on Equal Pay Day that it had "closed the gender pay gap globally".
"Let's make every day #EqualPayDay. All employers can take steps to eliminate the gender and race pay gaps, today," @Google tweeted earlier this week.
The government has collected information that points towards the violation of federal employment laws by Google, the DoL said.
"We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce," the report quoted Janette Wipper, a DoL regional director, testifying in a San Francisco court, as saying.
The investigation in the case is not complete, but the DoL has said the government's analysis at this point indicated discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme.
The labor department's lawyers have asked the court to cancel all of the company's federal contracts and block any future business with the government if it continues to refuse to comply with the audit.
"Every year, we do a comprehensive and robust analysis of pay across genders and we have found no gender pay gap. Other than making an unfounded statement which we heard for the first time in court, the DoL hasn't provided any data, or shared its methodology," a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying.
The company has recently claimed that it has closed its gender pay gap globally and provides equal pay across races in the US.
Google is a federal contractor, which means it is required to allow the DoL to inspect and copy records and information about its its compliance with equal opportunity laws.
Last year, the department's office of federal contract compliance programs requested job and salary history for Google employees, along with names and contact information, as part of the compliance review.
Google began releasing diversity statistics in 2014 and reported last year that women made up 31% of its overall workforce and that only 2% of workers were black and 3% Latino. White employees accounted for 59% of the US workforce and Asians made up 32%.