27 May 2017

Google Gives Us a New Definition of Chutzpah

The US Department of Labor is investigating Google for discriminating against women.

In response to a request for payroll data, Google has claimed that it's too expensive to collect the data.

This from a company that nets billions in profits, and which has automated search to a degree that would have been unimaginable only 3 decades ago.

It's like the man who murders his parents, and then asks for mercy because he is an orphan:
Google argued that it was too financially burdensome and logistically challenging to compile and hand over salary records that the government has requested, sparking a strong rebuke from the US Department of Labor (DoL), which has accused the Silicon Valley firm of underpaying women.

Allegations of possible employment violations emerge at court hearing as part of lawsuit to compel company, a federal contractor, to provide compensation data

Google officials testified in federal court on Friday that it would have to spend up to 500 hours of work and $100,000 to comply with investigators’ ongoing demands for wage data that the DoL believes will help explain why the technology corporation appears to be systematically discriminating against women.

Noting Google’s nearly $28bn annual income as one of the most profitable companies in the US, DoL attorney Ian Eliasoph scoffed at the company’s defense, saying, “Google would be able to absorb the cost as easy as a dry kitchen sponge could absorb a single drop of water.”

The tense exchanges in a small San Francisco courtroom emerged in the final day of testimony in the most high-profile government trial to date surrounding the intensifying debate about the wage gap and gender discrimination in the tech industry.

The DoL first publicly accused Google of “systemic compensation disparities” during a hearing in April, saying a preliminary inquiry had found that the Mountain View tech firm underpays women across positions.

The current court battle stems from the DoL’s lawsuit filed against Google in January, accusing the company of violating federal laws by refusing to provide salary history and contact information of employees as part of a government audit. As a federal contractor, Google is required to comply with equal opportunity laws and allow investigators to review records.
That whole, "Don't be evil," thing is so last week, I guess.


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