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A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Google is facing new allegations of underpaying female employees. SAN FRANCISCO — Google is facing allegations it underpays female teachers in its childcare center, expanding the scope of a lawsuit that claims the Internet giant has a pattern of shortchanging women. In a complaint filed Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court, former employee, Heidi Lamar, alleges female teachers were paid less than men with fewer qualifications to do the same job. Lamar says she worked for four years as a preschool teacher and infant and toddler teacher at Google’s Children Center in Palo Alto before quitting in August. Three men were employed as preschool teachers, with two of the men starting with higher salaries than nearly all the women.
The lawsuit that Lamar joined was initially brought by three women, Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri, who say they quit Google after being placed at lower job levels, resulting in lower pay and denying them promotions and moves to other teams that would advance their careers. Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said the company disagrees with the “central allegations of this amended lawsuit. We work really hard to create a great workplace for everyone, and to give everyone the chance to thrive here. Job levels and promotions are determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees, and must pass multiple levels of review, including checks to make sure there is no bias in these decisions,” Scigliano said in a statement.
In December, a judge rejected the initial complaint seeking class action status for all women who worked at Google in California for the past four years for being overly broad. The amended version proposes a narrower class of plaintiffs that includes engineering, research, management, sales and teaching staff. Google is one of the major technology companies to offer childcare as a perk for its employees. Scrutiny of Google has intensified since the Labor Department began examining possible pay disparities. In April, a Labor Department official said investigators had found “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire work force. In July, a judge ordered Google to hand over employee records to Labor Department investigators probing the alleged gender pay gap.
Google says its analysis of employee compensation shows no gender pay gap, saying it pays women 99. 7 cents for each dollar a man receives. Google, which three years ago pledged to close the race and gender gap to make its workforce better reflect the panoply of people it serves around the globe, is still overwhelmingly male and employs very few African Americans and Hispanics. Allegations of pay disparities come at a tense time for Google, which last year fired an employee, James Damore, who wrote an internal memo suggesting men are better suited for tech jobs than women.