Women In Comms

Google Ordered to Turn Over Some Pay Details

Despite its assertion that it has no wage gap amongst its male and female employees, a judge has asked Google to turn over records for up to 8,000 of its employees -- markedly less than the 25,000 employees' data requested by the US Department of Labor earlier this year, however.

San Francisco-based administrative lawyer Steven Berlin ruled Friday that the US Department of Labor 's initial request for employee data was "insufficiently focused" and could violate employee privacy, but he did ask that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) turn over contact information for up to 8,000 employees in an attempt to determine if there's a systematic wage imbalance as has been suggested in the past. (See Google Shares Gender-Blind Pay Policies.)

For its part, Google continues to deny any pay gap at all. In a blog post yesterday in response to the motion, Eileen Naughton, Google's vice president of people operations, reiterated that Google pays its employees equally and has shared its methodology for doing so in the past. She also noted that investigators interviewed more than 20 Google executives spanning two days and reviewed millions of compensation-related data points and documents, turning up nothing credible or reliable to support the claims of discrepancies.

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If Google indeed doesn't have a gender pay gap, it would be pretty unique amongst Silicon Valley tech companies. Pay imbalance -- among other issues related to diversity, exclusion and company culture -- is rather rampant in the Valley. (See A Vast Valley: Tech's Inexcusable Gender Gap.)

Some companies like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) have invested big in understanding and rectifying their pay gaps, and others are at least starting to share data in an effort to be more transparent about it. (See Cisco Spent $2M to Close Minor Pay Gaps, Equal Pay Day: Time to Get Paychecks in Check and Intel Closed the Gender Pay Gap in 2015.)

If Google is found to have a pay disparity, it could be barred from doing business with the federal government. This week's filing, totaling 43 pages, will be finalized in the coming weeks if an appeal is not filed.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Director, Women in Comms

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