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Google discriminates against male employees internal audit finds

An internal salary analysis of the software giant Google has revealed wage discrimination against men.

Published: March 7, 2019, 12:19 pm

    The aim of the study, according to a report in the New York Times , was to find out if the Californian company paid women and minorities appropriately. But instead they discovered that men were being treated unfairly.

    The result of the study was a salary increase for thousands of male employees of the company who were previously paid less for the same work than their female counterparts. Salary adjustments thus benefited 10 677 employees, of which men accounted for at least 69 percent.

    Currently, the company is fighting a lawsuit against former employees, headed by the engineer Kelly Ellis, who has sued Google for salary discrimination. Ellis, who years earlier had alleged sexual harassment at Google, is driving a class-action suit against the firm’s gender pay gap.

    She took Google to court on allegations that the company systematically underpays women.

    A former recruiter for Google sued company last year because of discriminatory hiring practices that put whites and Asians at a disadvantage to other groups. Google fired him after he complained about the discrmination.

    Arne Wilberg, who filed the lawsuit, maintains that Google carried out policies for the past several years “reflected in multiple bulletins, memorandum, charts and other documents” that favored Hispanic, African-American and female job applicants and were against white and Asian men, according to his lawsuit.

    Similarly, a former engineer, James Damore, said the search giant was discriminating against conservative white men in a lawsuit against Google.

    Even internationally, the group is currently exposed to allegations of promoting sexism. The complaints center around an app called Absher, which is available in the Google Play Store. It allows men in Saudi Arabia to monitor the travel movements of their wives and allows SMS alerts in case the woman uses her passport.

    It also indicates to the husband when his wife leaves a certain area which has been determined by him. Thus, in addition to enabling Saudi husbands to carry out tasks like renewing their driving licence, it can be used to either deny or allow individual travel. Women in Saudi Arabia need the permission of a male guardian to leave the country.

    The app was developed by the Saudi Ministry of Interior. Google has stated that it has reviewed the app and can not find any violations of terms of service.

    The human rights organisation Human Rights Watch accused Google of allowing human rights abuses with the app, which has been downloaded more than a million copies in the Kingdom of the Arabian Peninsula, according to the BBC.

    US Congress delegates had contacted Google asking for the removal of the application. The same criticism was raised against Apple, because the company also offers the app in his App Store.

    Some 14 US lawmakers said in their statement to the CEOs of Apple and Google calling for the removal of Absher from their app stores: “The ingenuity of American technology companies should not be perverted to violate the human rights of Saudi women. Twenty first century innovations should not perpetuate sixteenth century tyranny.

    “Keeping this application in your stores allows your companies and your American employees to be accomplices in the oppression of Saudi Arabian women and migrant workers.”


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