Google is pushing back against claims from the US Department of Labor that it systemically discriminates against female employees by paying them less than their male counterparts.
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In a Tuesday blog post, Google's Vice President of people operations, Eileen Naughton, said the company "conducts rigorous, annual analyses so that our pay practices remain aligned with our commitment to equal pay practices.
"So we were quite surprised when a representative of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the US Department of Labor (OFCCP) accused us of not compensating women fairly," she added. "We were taken aback by this assertion, which came without any supporting data or methodology."
Naughton went on to say that the Labor Department reached its conclusion "even as the [agency] is seeking thousands of employee records, including contact details of our employees."
Google's response comes after Labor Department officials late last week said they had uncovered evidence of widespread gender-based discrimination at the firm, according to The Guardian. "We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce," DoL Regional Director Janette Wipper said in a San Francisco federal court on Friday, according to the report.
Wipper was testifying at a hearing over a lawsuit the agency filed against Google in January seeking to force it to hand over salary information to the government.
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The Guardian also got in touch with DoL Regional Solicitor Janet Herold, who acknowledged that the investigation is not yet complete, but said the department "has received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters.
"The government's analysis at this point indicates that discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry," Herold added.
Google today pushed back against those claims, saying it goes to great lengths to ensure equal pay for men and women.
"Our pay equity model … looks at employees in the same job categories, and analyzes their compensation to confirm that the adjusted amount shows no statistically significant differences between men's and women's compensation," Naughton wrote. If the company discovers that women are being paid a "significantly lower amount," it makes adjustments to bring their compensation in line with others.
"In late 2016, we performed our most recent analysis across 52 different, major job categories, and found no gender pay gap," Naughton wrote.