U.S. Labor Department officials said they have found “systemic compensation disparities against women” at Google.
Investigators said they discovered the pay disparity during a routine probe to make certain that Google complied with federal law because the company is a government contractor, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Officials made the accusation Friday at a hearing before a federal administrative judge in San Francisco. The department is suing Google for more data on compensation to complete its probe.
Google immediately shot back in a statement to The Guardian, which first revealed the Labor Department accusations. The company said it “vehemently disagrees” with the charge, adding that the Labor Department failed to show how it reached its conclusion.
Google boasted days earlier on Twitter that it had closed the gender pay gap not only in the U.S. — but globally as well.
Janet Herold, regional solicitor for the Labor Department, told The Guardian that officials have gathered “compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google’s California headquarters. She called discrimination against women at Google “quite extreme, even in this industry,” the newspaper reported.
The tech industry has a reputation of being a boys club, and the Labor Department has moved against other tech corporations. It sued Oracle in January, claiming that it paid white men more than other employees for similar work, which Oracle denied.