Google notches a win in gender discrimination lawsuit

Solving sexual harassment in tech: Ask these female CEOs
Solving sexual harassment in tech: Ask these female CEOs

In a win for Google, a California judge has rejected a class action claim against the company for alleged gender inequity.

In September, three former female employees filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the company "engaged in systemic and pervasive pay and promotion discrimination."

The complaint asserted women were paid less than men, assigned to lower paying jobs, and promoted less often. The plaintiffs sought class action status on behalf of women who have worked at Google in California for the past four years.

The women who brought the case -- Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri -- worked at Google at its Mountain View headquarters.

This week, a judge rejected their request to make the suit a class action. A judge ruled that the class was "overbroad," stating that it "does not purport to distinguish between female employees who may have valid claims against Google based upon its alleged conduct from those who do not."

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Jim Finberg, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said his clients plan to file an amended complaint seeking class action certification. He said it will address the court's ruling and make "clear that Google violates the California Equal Pay Act throughout California and throughout the class period by paying women less than men for substantially equal work in nearly every job classification."

The suit cited a U.S. Department of Labor analysis of data on 21,000 Google employees for 2015.

"That analysis found 'systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce,'" the complaint said.

Google told CNNMoney its own analysis of its employees' compensation showed it had no gender pay gap, citing it pays women 99.7 cents to each dollar a man receives.

It also makes its equal pay methodology available to other businesses to test their own compensation practices.

"As we said before, we work really hard to create a great workplace for everyone, and to give everyone the chance to thrive here. If we ever see individual discrepancies or problems, we work to fix them," said Gina Scigliano, a Google spokeswoman in a statement.

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