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Google hits back after gender discrimination accusations

Google has released its pay methodology after being accused of discrimination by the US Department of Labour.

“It’s very important to us that men and women who join Google in the same role are compensated on a level playing field, when they start and throughout their careers here,” Eileen Naughton, VP of people operations, writes in a blog post.

Naughton asserts that the company’s method of determining pay is “blind to gender.” She says that an employee’s compensation (including salary and benefits) is suggested based on their role, job level, location and recent performance ratings.

Once compensation has been decided, Google’s pay equity model compares and analyses it to others in the same job category, ensuring no “statistically significant differences [exist] between men’s and women’s compensation.”

“The analysts who calculate the suggested amounts do not have access to employees’ gender data. An employee’s manager has limited discretion to adjust the suggested amount, providing they cite a legitimate adjustment rationale.”

Google’s Naughton explains that the company’s method of determining pay is ‘blind to gender’

Naughton does not add what stipulates legitimate rationale for change.

In January, the Department of Labour sued Google for the release of its salary data and documents, claiming that it had evidence of “significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters.”

Google refused to hand the data over, claiming that it already releases thorough annual reports, and that releasing them would be a violation of its employees’ privacy.

“We were taken aback by [the Department of Labour’s] assertion, which came without any supporting data or methodology,” Naughton writes. “The [US Department of Labor] representative claimed to have reached this conclusion even as [it] is seeking thousands of employee records, including contact details of our employees, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents we’ve already produced in response to 18 different document requests.”

Naughton also points out that Google’s pay equity model has been extended to consider race.

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

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