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Google to pay $118 million to women in gender-bias settlement

Google has agreed to pay $118 million to more than 15,000 women to settle a years-long class-action lawsuit alleging the Mountain View company discriminated against female employees.

Plaintiffs Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, Kelli Wisuri, and Heidi Lamar had accused the digital-advertising giant, currently valued at $1.4 trillion, of slotting women into lower salary levels than men, giving women lower-paying jobs, promoting women more slowly and less frequently, and generally paying female employees less than men for similar work.

“As a woman who’s spent her entire career in the tech industry, I’m optimistic that the actions Google has agreed to take as part of this settlement will ensure more equity for women,” Pease, who worked for the company in leadership roles for almost 11 years, said in a statement. “Google, since its founding, has led the tech industry. They also have an opportunity to lead the charge to ensure inclusion and equity for women in tech.”The suit, in San Francisco County Superior Court, was filed in 2017. Under the settlement agreement, which still needs court approval after its announcement Friday, an independent industrial-organizational psychologist will probe Google’s practices for assigning job levels at hiring, and a third-party labor economist will review the firm’s internal pay-equity studies “and make recommendations on that process to the extent there are opportunities to more accurately analyze whether employees are paid equitably for comparable work, including with respect to gender equity.”

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