Oracle paid women less than men for same work, lawsuit alleges

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Oracle allegedly paid women $13,000 less per year than men for the same work, according to a report filed in a gender bias lawsuit against the company on Friday.

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David Neumark, an economist and professor at University of California Irvine, completed the analysis that was submitted in support of a motion to pursue a case against Oracle, saying the likelihood of the pay gap happening by change is “less than one in 1 billion,” according to Wired, which first reported the news.

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“Oracle has discriminated against its female employees by systematically paying them lower wage rates than Oracle pays to male employees performing substantially equal or similar work under similar working conditions,” the lawsuit alleges. “At all relevant times, Oracle has known or should have known of this pay disparity between its female and male employees, yet Oracle has taken no action to equalize men and women’s pay for substantially equal or similar work.”

The class of employees would include 4,200 female workers in the firm’s product development, information technology and support functions, according to Wired, which noted that most of the difference in earnings between men and women stemmed from bonuses and stock grants -- not necessarily base pay.

“Women’s base pay was 3.8 percent less than comparable men, according to the analysis. But women’s bonuses, on average, were 13.2 percent less than men in the same job codes; for stock grants, the disparity was 33.1 percent,” Wired wrote.

Oracle, which is headed by chief executive Larry Ellison, declined to comment.

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According to Wired, the pay disparity was a result of Oracle’s practice until October 2017 of relying on an employee’s prior pay when setting initial salaries. For lateral hires, the California-based company required recruiters to ask about a worker’s current pay level. (The company stopped this practice because a change to California state law prohibited employers from justifying unlawful pay differences based on former salary).

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