Two new developments in the continuing legal saga of Google, Inc. a company that apparently thought it was too big to be held accountable.
U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled last month that plaintiffs who filed an age discrimination collective action against Google can amend their complaint and add a new claim of disparate impact. This claim alleges Google has adopted seemingly neutral policy that disproportionately affects older workers. It could significantly broaden the potential for damages.
This blog complained that Google in 2014 made a public commitment to increase race and gender diversity in its workforce, and released workforce statistics relating to those characteristics. But Google was completely silent with respect to age and did not release age-related statistics. Apparently, it did not feel that age was an important diversity issue?
The case is Robert Heath v. Google Inc., 5:15-ev-01824 (4/22/2015). It was filed in U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Jose, California.
Judge Mary Wiss of the California Superior Court in San Francisco issued a ruling that paves the way for class action status in a lawsuit filed by three women in September alleging Google has a “sexist culture” and pays women less. She named the case a “complex case.” If the case is certified as a class action, it could include thousands of female employees across the state of California. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that found evidence of systemic pay discrimination in 2015 among the 21,000 employees at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Women earned less than men in nearly every job classification.
The case is Ellis v. Google Inc., CGC-17-561299, California Superior Court, San Francisco County.
Google has denied discriminating against both older workers and women.