Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Google systematically pays women less than men for doing "substantially similar work" and segregates women into lower-paying jobs, a lawsuit filed on behalf of three female employees Thursday says.
The women behind the lawsuit seek class-action status to cover all women employed by the tech firm in the past four years.
"Google has discriminated and continues to discriminate against its female employees by systematically paying them lower compensation than Google pays to male employees performing substantially similar work under similar working conditions," the lawsuit reads.
One of the plaintiffs, former Google employee Kelly Ellis, told The Guardian that despite longtime discussion within the company about similar complains, not much has changed.
"There's been a lot of PR and lip service, but ... this is going to be one of the only ways to get these companies to change how they hire and compensate women," she said.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Labor Department sued Google for information concerning how much it paid more than 25,000 employees over the course of 19 years. Federal investigators said they found "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce."
A San Francisco-area judge ruled Google must partially comply with the request and submit pay for up to 8,000 employees from 2014-17.
But Google says that according to its own analysis, it pays women 99.7 cents for every dollar a man makes.
"We work really hard to create a great workplace for everyone, and to give everyone the chance to thrive here," Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano told the Mercury News. "Job levels and promotions are determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees, and must pass multiple levels of review, including checks to make sure there is no gender bias in these decisions.
"And we have extensive systems in place to ensure that we pay fairly. But on all these topics, if we ever see individual discrepancies or problems, we work to fix them," she said.
The lawyer representing the plaintiffs, James Finberg, said women are often forced into lower-paying positions that require similar work of men at high level positions.
"Google has channeled and segregated, and continues to channel and segregate, women on the basis of their sex into lower compensation levels and into less-compensated and less-favorable job ladders and levels than men with equal or lesser qualifications and/or men performing substantially similar work," the suit said.