In court testimony on Friday, a Labor Department (DoL) official accused Google of “systemic compensation disparities against women,” as part of an ongoing federal probe of the company.
DoL Regional Director Janette Wipper testified that,“We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce,” according to a report by the Guardian.
Another DoL official told the newspaper that Google’s discrimination against women is “quite extreme, even in this industry.”
The testimony was delivered as part of a federal investigation of alleged discrimination at the company that led to a DoL lawsuit against Google last January. The lawsuit seeks to require Google to provide compensation data and other information to complete a federal compliance evaluation. As a federal contractor, Google is required to allow the DoL to examine records to ensure the company complies with equal opportunity laws.
Google has fought the agency’s efforts, claiming the data request was too broad and violated employee privacy. At Friday’s hearing, an attorney for the tech giant accused federal officials of embarking on a “fishing expedition.”
But a third federal official accused the company of actually hiding its pay-related information, the Guardian reported. And DoL attorneys are threatening to cancel all of Google’s government contracts if it refuses to comply with the federal audit.
In the current case, a Google attorney claimed the company conducts an annual review of salaries across gender and has found “no gender pay gap.”