Apple may face its share of litigation, but Google is no stranger to the courtroom either. The United States Department of Labor (DoL) has been researching gender discrimination claims against Google. It seems that Google allegedly underpays women pretty much across the board, to the point that it was worth the DoL’s time to give the company a look. An attempt by Google to have the case and investigation thrown out, thereby taking attention away from the legal proceedings has backfired.
The lawsuit filed by the DoL really just stems from the investigation itself. The DoL requested salary information, which Google has not been forthcoming in providing. Google has denied the allegations, citing a yearly internal analysis that they complete which, they say, has shown no gender pay gap. They mentioned these denials, as well as their internal analysis in a statement provided to The Guardian. Google’s attempts to have the lawsuit — which was filed by the DoL in order to actually get some of that purported data —dropped stem from the DoL’s response. When asked for comment by The Guardian after Google vigorously denied all allegations, DoL Regional Solicitor Janet Herold had the following to say:
The investigation is not complete, but at this point the department has received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters.
Nothing too crazy, right? Basically saying they’re still looking into it, but they’re confident there’s something worth looking into. As soon as the interview was published, Google asked for a stop to the case, suggesting that Herold’s answers show that the DoL has already made up its mind, meaning Google should not be forced to provide their data that would — if it contains the data that Google claims that it contains — clear matters up immediately.
Not content to stop there, Google’s lawyers also suggested that Herold’s actions were unethical, citing a California trial publicity rule stating that attorneys engaged in litigation should not make public statements that have a “substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing” the case. The judge presiding over the case who will determine whether or not Google needs to hand over their records wasn’t buying it though. Judge Steven Berlin did suggest that Herold could have easily declined to comment, though by answering the reporter’s question she had not done anything inappropriate and her answers would not have any affect on the outcome of the suit.
Judge Berlin did, however, chastise Google a bit by suggesting that it was a bit hypocritical of them to comment to the press, but then complain when someone responded to those comments. What doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, is if you’ve got this analysis that will exonerate you of any wrongdoing, and would satisfy the entire investigation, why wouldn’t you be showing it to anybody that wanted to see it? By hiding the information they’re really just making themselves look guilty, whether they are or not.Source: The Guardian