OAKLAND (US) – In a bid to settle allegations that it underpaid women and unfairly overlooked women and Asians for job openings, Alphabet Inc’s Google will spend $3.8 million, including $2.6 million in back pay, said the US Department of Labor on Monday.
The charges originated from a routine compliance audit several years ago mandated by the status of the company as a supplier of technology to the US federal government.
According to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, there were “preliminary indicators” that Google from 2014 to 2017 underpaid 2,783 women in its software engineering group in Mountain View, California, and Seattle.
Investigators also discovered hiring rate differences that left women and Asian candidates at a disadvantage during the year ended Aug. 31, 2017, for software engineering openings in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, California, and Kirkland, Washington.
The settlement includes $2.6 million in back pay to 5,500 employees and job candidates and calls on Google to review hiring and salary practices.
The firm will also set apart $1.25 million for pay adjustments for engineers in Mountain View, Kirkland, Seattle and New York over the next five years as per the settlement. Unused funds, if any, will be spent on enhancing diversity efforts.
“We believe everyone should be paid based upon the work they do, not who they are, and invest heavily to make our hiring and compensation processes fair and unbiased,” it said in a statement.