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Additionally, Google will allow a third party to review how it carries out its recruiting and hiring processes.
The plaintiffs argued that women at Google were paid about $16,794 less than their male coworkers, as well as being placed in lower-level positions despite qualifying for upper-level jobs. One woman stated she was placed in an entry-level tier meant for recent college grads, despite having four years of experience. Other women argued that they were given less challenging assignments, making it more difficult to advance to a higher position.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2017 by three female employees who accused Google of gender discrimination and violating California’s Equal Pay Act. The complaint expanded to class-action status in 2021, and the settlement now covers over 15,000 female employees who worked for the company after September 2013.
Still, Google claims no wrongdoing, despite its hefty payout.
“While we strongly believe in the equity of our policies and practices, after nearly five years of litigation, both sides agreed that resolution of the matter, without any admission or findings, was in the best interest of everyone, and we’re very pleased to reach this agreement,” Google said in a statement to Fortune, and noted that admitting fault is not part of the settlement.
The terms of the agreement are awaiting approval by a judge on June 21.