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What you need to know

  • A compliance audit performed at Google several years ago discovered discriminatory behavior towards certain workers.
  • Google reportedly underpaid nearly 3,000 of its female software engineers.
  • Discriminatory hiring practices were also observed at Google, with women and Asian candidates offered fewer opportunities.,

Google's troubles are seemingly unending, and the latest allegations against Google aren't really a good look for the company during a month focused on acceptance of others. Reuters reports that Google has been fined nearly $4 million for "allegations of systemic compensation and hiring discrimination" towards its workers based on audits that were conducted several years ago.

According to the Department of Labor, the compliance audit, which was conducted between the years of 2014 and 2017, determined that nearly 3,000 of Google's female software engineers in the Mountain View, CA, and Seattle, WA areas were underpaid. Additionally, the review discovered that women and Asian candidates were found to be at a disadvantage for similar software engineering roles in California and Washington.

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Google has agreed to pay more than $3.8 million to settle the claims, which includes back pay and interest to its underpaid female software engineers, as well as previous female and Asian applicants who were not offered a position. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs states that more than 5,500 employees and candidates were affected and that Google has agreed to actively address internal discrimination within the company:

The U.S. Department of Labor acknowledges Google's willingness to engage in settlement discussions and reach an early resolution. The technology industry continues to be one of the region's largest and fastest-growing employers. Regardless of how complex or the size of the workforce, we remain committed to enforcing equal opportunity laws to ensure non-discrimination and equity in the workforce.

This isn't the first time Google has been put in the spotlight for discriminatory behavior against employees. Workers recently formed an international union at Google to address the company's treatment of minorities and work to change the company culture. Google has also been in a public spat surrounding the recent firing of its former AI Ethics lead and a Black woman, Temnit Gebru.

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