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  • Voltaire Staff

Google faces pay inequity trial in New York

As Google battles charges of industry domination through unfair means in a major lawsuit in Washington DC, it has found itself facing another trial in New York with a engineer from its cloud unit dragging it to court with allegations of pay disparity.

Google for the first time in its history appeared on Tuesday for a trial over its pay policy in a court in New York. An employee Ulku Rowe has accused the famous search engine of pay discrimination, alleging she was hired at level 8, even as her colleagues with same experience, doing the same work, were hired at level 9.

According to Forbes, Rowe, a director of engineering in the company’s cloud unit, has alleged she was paid less as a result of pay discrimination by Google, which resulted in loss of present and future earnings.

The case is a direct consequence of the infamous 2018 walkout during which 20,000 Google employees walked out of its office around the world demanding the firm ditch its policy of arbitration for internal disputes, such as over sexual harassment charges and pay disparity.

The firm acquiesced to the demands of its employees and dropped its arbitration policy, opening the gates for employees to approach courts against their employer. Rowe, who took part in the protest, filed her complaint in 2019.

According to Forbes, the lawyer representing Rowe says the seed for the current trial was germinated in that protest.

"This case is really the embodiment of what that walkout was about in terms of pressing the issues demanding accountability," said Cara Greene, the attorney at the firm Outten and Golden representing Rowe.

The trial only increases the troubles for the tech giant, which is under a more severe scrutiny, facing charges relating to the rigging of the industry prices and overwhelming smaller players with its might.

Google has been under trial since last month over allegations by the US government of monopolising the search engine market through unfair means. The firm has so far been, among other things, made to depose about its ad sales practices, and has been forced to parry charges of hiking cost-per-click rates unilaterally to the detriment of advertisers and website owners. It has been accused of hoarding a large share of revenue that comes through ads that show up on websites via its search engine.


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