In a court hearing last Friday, government investigators have said that a “systemic compensation disparities” against female workforce are found across the Google company. The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL), according to the Guardian, is currently still in the middle of the investigation, but it has found the company’s compensation scheme for women to be in violation of federal employment laws.

Google’s ‘extreme’ compensation gap

The accusation that Google was underpaying female workers was delivered by Janette Wipper, a regional director at a labor department, which prompted a response from Google.

The company issued a public statement detailing its focus on pay equity and denying the existence of any pay gap. The internet search giant said that the company was surprised that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor (OFCCP) concluded that the company was not compensating their female workers fairly. A lawsuit was filed in January, and the government is seeking access to the company’s salary data and documents.

Google's 'gender-blind' pay suggestions

Eileen Naughton, Google’s Vice President of People Operations, said in a statement that the company’s annual analysis is “extremely scientific and robust,” and gender-blind, to be able to come up with a calculation of the appropriate amounts for every employee.

The confidence interval for the analysis is the same one used in medical testing: higher than 95 percent. The company’s 2016 analysis found no gap in their gender pay scheme, with room for appropriate corrections. Google’s attorney, Lisa Barnett Sween, said that the government’s request for the company’s confidential data was a violation of the company’s fourth amendment right.

The situation

The lawsuit filed against Google is one of the recent legal actions taken by the labor department over unfair employment practices. The DoL filed a lawsuit against Palantir in September over racial discrimination against Asian applicants in hiring practices. The Department also filed a lawsuit against Oracle in January for the same issue; the company was found to be overpaying its while, male employees.

Labor Department lawyers requested that the court canceled all of Google’s federal contracts and blocks any future businesses with the government if it does not cooperate with the audit. Google has made its diversity statistics accessible to the public through Google Diversity, which details the racial makeup of the company's workforce.

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