Four women formerly employed at Google have won class-action status to proceed with their gender pay disparity lawsuit.
According to Bloomberg, the latest ruling means the suit can now include 10,800 women who worked at the tech behemoth, in different roles and positions, since 2013.
The women are seeking over $600 million in damages. They allege the tech giant violated the California Equal Pay Act. They claim Google paid them less than their male counterparts, took longer to promote them, and did so less frequently.
According to a filing submitted during the protracted legal battle, referenced by Engadget, female employees at Google take home almost $16,800 less than the “similarly suited man”.
The lawsuit also alleges that the tech giant’s use of previous salary data was a crucial factor in perpetuating wage inequality within the business.
Google stopped doing this in 2017 but has since failed to address the wage gaps, the suit alleges. Google denies the suit’s central allegations.
The original lawsuit brought forward by Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, and Kelli Wisuri in 2017 was disregarded by a judge. It was then re-submitted the following year, featuring Heidi Lamar as an additional plaintiff.
This ruling comes amid further scrutiny over Google’s treatment of female workers. Back in February, the tech giant agreed to a settlement with the Department of Labor over systemic compensation and hiring discrimination at its California and Washington offices.
As a result, the company agreed to pay more than $2.5 million to over 5,500 existing employees and job applicants who faced wage inequality.
Today’s news also follows on from a study that found it takes longer for women to reach CEO level.