The Department of Labor alleges that Oracle pays white men more than its female and minority employees in the same positions and favors Asians in its recruiting.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

January 18, 2017

3 Min Read
US Sues Oracle for Pay, Hiring Discrimination

Oracle routinely and systematically pays its white male workers more than women and minorities in the same positions, as well as discriminates against non-Asian applicants in its recruiting process, according to a lawsuit announced Wednesday by the US Department of Labor.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, alleges that the Bay Area tech giant paid women, African Americans and Asians less than their white male counterparts holding the same job titles. It also claims Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) systematically favors Asians in its recruiting and hiring for product development and other technical jobs, discriminating against non-Asian applicants in the process.

Oracle denied the allegations. "The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit.”

Women in Comms is kicking off a bigger and better 2017! Visit WiC Online and get in touch to learn how you can join us.

There's been a big push for more transparency around hiring practices, pay and diversity at tech companies. Many companies have been sharing their diversity statistics on their own volition in recent years. For its part, Oracle promotes a commitment to diversity on its website, but only shares a high-level breakdown of its diversity statistics, including that it is made up of 37% minorities and 29% females. Thirty-four percent of its managers are minorities, and 25% are female. (See A Vast Valley: Tech's Inexcusable Gender Gap.)

The US Department of Labor lawsuit says that Oracle refused to "comply with routine requests for employment data and records" and refused to provide prior-year compensation data for its employees, hiring data for certain business units and employee complaints of discrimination. It has been investigating the company for two years and pushing it to provide this documentation for the past year.

As a federal contractor, Oracle is not allowed to partake in any kind of employment discrimination for its employees or those it's seeking to hire. The suit is seeking compensation for lost pay and benefits for those affected, as well as to force Oracle to end these discriminatory practices. It suggests Oracle may lose millions in federal contracts if it doesn't change its ways.

This lawsuit, the result of a regular compliance review by the government, comes shortly after the Department of Labor also filed suit against Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) for failing to provide similar data in its review. The suit against Google, however, doesn't claim any wrongdoing or discrimination in its employment practices. Google said it pushed back on turning over the private information of its employees.

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

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like