An administrative law judge has ruled that Labor Department officials investigating gender pay bias had asked Google for data in a way that's too broad and intrusive on employee privacy.
Google must still provide data, including contact information, on 8,000 employees — just not data on the more than 25,000 workers originally sought.
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At issue is whether Google pays women less than men. The Labor Department said in April that it found "systemic compensation disparities." But Google denied the charges, saying it conducts rigorous analysis to ensure that its pay practices are gender-blind.
The decision, issued on Friday, is preliminary. The Labor Department can file objections before it becomes final. The ruling doesn't yet decide, either way, whether Google discriminated.