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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit That Claims Google Paid Female Employees Less Than Male Colleagues (cnn.com) 257

A California judge has rejected a class action claim against Google for alleged gender inequity. In September, three female Google employees filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the search giant "engaged in systemic and pervasive pay and promotion discrimination." They sought class action status on behalf of women who have worked at Google in California for the past four years. CNN reports: This week, a judge rejected their request to make the suit a class action. A judge ruled that the class was "overbroad," stating that it "does not purport to distinguish between female employees who may have valid claims against Google based upon its alleged conduct from those who do not." Jim Finberg, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said his clients plan to file an amended complaint seeking class action certification. He said it will address the court's ruling and make "clear that Google violates the California Equal Pay Act throughout California and throughout the class period by paying women less than men for substantially equal work in nearly every job classification."

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit That Claims Google Paid Female Employees Less Than Male Colleagues

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:34PM (#55692563)

    it find a liberal judge.

    It's been said before, companies do not systematically pay women less, if they did, they would only hire women.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:40PM (#55692581)

      Sexual harassment and sexual assault should not be tolerated. But there's no nuance to the discussions, no proportionality between the allegations and the reaction. People are afraid to speak up and question what's going on right now. The are some parallels between Star Trek TNG'S The Drumhead and movements like #Metoo.

      When anyone who calls into question how far the movement will go is labeled as being against women, which I've seen happen, it's out of hand. I'm for changing the status quo, but left unchecked, these movements get out of hand. When that happens, the consequences can be harmful to most or all involved. Look at the French Revolution as a movement based on an admirable goal that completely got out of control.

      The goal seems to be to punish men, but there isn't a lot of discussion on how to actually solve the problem. The real issue is the differential in power that lends itself to abuse, and how when victims speak up, they often face retribution. Yes, there needs to be consequences for abuse, but that doesn't actually solve the problem that enables the abuse to happen to begin with. That is the logical end goal, but that's not what the movement seems to be after.

      • The drumhead trials started well before the #Metoo movement. It just wasn't as widely broadcast. In the past it led to men being killed due to mere accusation. The Title IX cases provide a long list of drumhead trials.

        Look at cases like Brian Banks, Duke Lacrosse, Hofstra, Jackie, and Mattress girls for starters.
        It's funny how so many people who push the "listen and believe" crap will turn around and use the Salem witch trials as an example of women being persecuted, when the reason for the trials w
      • divide & conquer (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Reverend Green ( 4973045 ) on Thursday December 07, 2017 @02:51AM (#55693531)

        If they scream loudly enough and often enough about a non-existent problem - remember in almost all US megacorps, there is codified systemic employment bias against men - then we will forget about the real problems in the workplace.

        Workers upset that wages are stagnant while cost of living is skyrocketing? "He looked at me the wrong way! Reeeeeeeeeee!"

        Workers angry that their jobs are being offshored while executives sit back and collect handsome bonuses? "He said 'hi' to me, I feel harassed. Burn the witch! Reeeeeeeeeee!"

        Workers demoralized because the entire management of the company went to the same three elitist private schools, and public school grads don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting promoted? "Misogyny! Microaggressions! Literally Hitler! Reeeeeeeeeee!"

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Do you have any actual evidence of this? Like a series of examples that show a "systemic employment bias against men", or that there are significant numbers of people saying "He looked at me the wrong way! Reeeeeeeeeee!"?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            No, he doesn't. Because it isn't true. But there's a reason he believes it.

            You, I, and him are members of a privileged class (we're all men, and for all I know all white, though I can't say that for definite.) We had no choice in the matter, we were born one day with the right wedding tackle, and for reasons that remain somewhat difficult to understand, we had it a little easier than people who didn't.

            This was not our fault. Like I said, we had no choice in the matter. We won the chromosodal (if that's

            • Nonsense we have been told we are the privileged class so long that people just believe it without question. The are pros and cons to both sexes.

              Women's Disadvantages:
              Get paid less
              Physically weaker.
              Expected to wait to be asked out.
              Get used as prostitutes/ sex slaves
              Are expected to have a higher standard of beauty.
              Sexually harassed more.
              Expected to be lady like. ....

              Men's disadvantages:
              we are less happy, in my country 3 times the suicide rate,
              we have less friends.
              we live shorter lives.
              we are expected to go t

    • It's been said before, companies do not systematically pay women less, if they did, they would only hire women.

      Why on earth would that be true? The misogynist boss isn't spending his money...

      • Two bosses each have a budget of $1 million to hire people.
        If it's true that their $1 million budget will hire either 8 men or 10 equally effective women*, any smart boss would hire the ten women. His department will be more productive and he'll get bonuses and promotions.

        So it *is* his money, in the sense that it's his budget to spend on his team, and he'll be judged on the results.

        There are some misogynistic manager, for sure. Maybe not many, but there are some. There are also other managers in the compa

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          You claim that discrimination is self-correcting, but there is plenty of evidence that it is not. Racial segregation persisted for more than a century in America despite being against the economic interests of its practitioners.

          Another example is sexual discrimination in Japan. Men are usually promoted based on seniority rather than competence, while women are generally excluded from the hierarchy. So it is common for a "super secretary" to be actually running the company, while her incompetent boss sit

          • Some multi-nationals from America and Europe are able to take advantage of the situation by opening branches in Japan and hiring very competent women at bargain salaries

            So it is self-correcting. Just not always in the most predictable ways.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Probably not, since the lawsuit wasn't actually thrown out at all. The headline is a lie. The judge simply declined to allow it to become a class action because the class was too broad, but the actual claim that women were systematically paid less will still go ahead and be tested in court.

      Reactionary much?

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      On Saturday I was stood with my arm out, not moving. A woman came up to me and leaned against my arm, then turned her back to me so that my hand ran across her breasts and I ended up cupping one of them until I realised and moved.

      #MeToo

      (she did apologise afterwards)

    • Speaking as an Economics professor . . .

      It is easy to explain why someone would pay a woman less than a man.

      It is, at best, difficult to explain why anyone would hire a man that has to be paid more than a woman . . .

      doc hawk

  • Next step (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:35PM (#55692569)

    The women will claim they were sexual assaulted in order to get even with Google. Anything and everything seems to constitute sexual assault these days. There are egregious examples like Harvey Weinstein, but much of this is about punishing men so women can take their places without having to earn it.

    • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
      No one deserves the results of biased treatment - neither men with pay bonus nor women without. The real pay for a job is based on what is paid for it regardless of all factors that do not actually influence performance, and whose assessment is not biased in nature or application.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No one deserves the results of biased treatment - neither men with pay bonus nor women without

        Which is why Jzanu supports prostate cancer screenings for women and maternity services for men paid for by the government.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Pay is what you are willing to accept and basically the employer saying screw you. If they can badger you to take less they will and women are more easy for corporations to badger and they get paid less. This not collectively but individually and on average. Are they women who get paid more, yes but they are tougher, more individually minded and more willing to stick up for themselves and in the minority. So employers want more women because they are easier to push around and manipulate than men on average

    • Re:Next step (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:52PM (#55692631)

      I'd like to see the phrase "sexual assault" go away and be replaced with a description of what *actually happened*. It's too easy to fit a multitude of different behaviours into a neat little box like "sexual assault" and defame somebody with it.

      Also, you can tell by the fact that only men are being "outed" that there's an agenda at play in the media. Just like how you only ever see "black lives matter" but not "Chinese lives matter" or "white lives matter" or "immigrants lives matter" or anything else that doesn't fit into their flavour of the week agenda based reporting.

      • This is exactly what is so troubling about the rash of accusations lately. It's one thing to feel a certain amount of schadenfreude over liberal icons getting canned ("I now know why SJWs think there's a rape culture...because in their industries and institutions there is") but there is also the whole innocent-until-proven-guilty thing to contend with. And no, an accusation is not proof.
      • I'd like to see the phrase "sexual assault" go away and be replaced with a description of what *actually happened*. It's too easy to fit a multitude of different behaviours into a neat little box like "sexual assault" and defame somebody with it.

        Especially if that box is neither neat nor little. Too much things get mixed here. When you read a report of groping you can't "metoo" with a "yes and that one guy looked at me and I didn't like it." Oh my - did he go further and even said "Hi!"? What a pig!

        I usually lobby for the "Georeg Clooney Test": It is NOT sexual harassment if it would be OK if George Clooney did it.

  • by SmaryJerry ( 2759091 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:48PM (#55692611)
    Seems like the new normal is cover the accusation as a scandal and don't cover the follow-up result. Good on Slashdot for keeping up. I hope this happens with the rest of the 'scandal' stories.
    • >Seems like the new normal is cover the accusation as a scandal and don't cover the follow-up result.

      You know how I know you're young (or unusually sheltered)?

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:57PM (#55692661) Journal

    This may be interesting to watch. Individual cases of discrimination are often like any other case there is direct evidence, or not. Class actions tend to rely on statistics and that always reminds me of a certain university case.

    In the university case, the primary evidence brought by the plaintiffs was that the school accepted a significantly higher percentage of male applicants than female applicants. That seemed pretty clear-cut. If the school admits 60% of male applicants and 45% of females, that looks a lot like there may be systematic discrimination against women.

    The school pointed out that EVERY department admitted a higher percentage of women than men, however. When every department admits 60% of female applicants and 45% of men that looks a lot like systematically favoring women - discrimination against men.

    Here's what had happened. The school had one department that was highly regarded, with competitive admissions. I don't recall offhand what the department was, so for the sake of this discussion let's call it the nursing school. It just so happened that the best department, the department with the most competitive admissions, was a department with mostly women applying. Most people who applied to the nursing school we're not accepted, and most people who applied to the nursing program were women.

    Most male applicants applied to other, less competitive programs at the school.

    Women had a BETTER chance of getting into the nursing program than men did. Every department admitted women at a higher rate, but the school as a whole rejected more females because their nursing program was that good - they rejected more nursing applicants than other majors.

    The sad lesson for university administrators - if you don't want to be accused of discrimination, make sure the programs that women enjoy aren't your best programs, which will make admissions more competitive.

  • This wasn't a decision that the facts didn't agree with the employees, only that it didn't merit a class action lawsuit.
    • Of course not. They also do not to read the article either: "Jim Finberg, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said his clients plan to file an amended complaint seeking class action certification." This is somewhat normal for lawsuits. The judge finds that they didn't quite meet the requirements and dismisses. The plaintiffs refile.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @10:16PM (#55692729)

    They sought class action status on behalf of women... A judge ruled that the class was overbroad,"

    Ohhhhhh, I get it!

  • Substantially similar jobs often arenâ(TM)t.

    My organization had a dispute when jobs were being re-profiled and positions redefined. For the vast majority of us our actual tasks did not change. A small group decided to challenge their job profiles, instead of taking the two profiles and figuring out how the differences applied, they said they do the same general tasks as me and my coworker. They donâ(TM)t actually know what we do, or how much responsibility we have. They assumed the jobs were simil

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Stop posting with your iOS device, it fucks up the '

      • Thats slashdots fault for not supporting proper fucking unicode.

        • Thats slashdots fault for not supporting proper fucking unicode.

          Every other browser puts a ' into the text when you press the ' key, and a " into the text when you press the " key. Slashdot is pathetic, but Apple is shit.

  • by ytene ( 4376651 ) on Thursday December 07, 2017 @12:06AM (#55693123)
    ... of reading the OP and concluding that the presiding Judge is in any way biased against the plaintiffs (the three female Google employees).

    If anything, the exact opposite could be true.

    The Judge will know that this case is going to be ferociously defended by Google, that it will garner a very great deal of public interest and scrutiny and that, if it gets as far as substantive rulings, could very well set a precedent and become case law that is cited in future disputes. In other words, the Judge simply can't afford to allow even a small chink or gap or flaw in the prosecution's argument, because to do so would be to invite the defendants to demand that the case be tossed.

    Nor should you read the above statement and conclude that I believe the Judge to be inclined towards the plaintiffs in this case. The Judge will equally demand that the defendants are thorough and reasoned in their arguments.

    This case has all the hallmarks of something that will be super-significant. The Court is simply making sure that both parties put their best legal foot forward.
  • No women get hired. Period. Can't pay them less if they don't get hired at all. But then I suppose that would be discrimination too. Can't live with them, can't live without them. Then what the fuck do we do?
    • No women get hired. Period. Can't pay them less if they don't get hired at all. But then I suppose that would be discrimination too. Can't live with them, can't live without them. Then what the fuck do we do?

      Pay every employee the same amount of money, like the military does. Earn more through rank promotions based on performance. Of course, then promotions would get political.

      The simplest answer here is to subject every company to an annual payroll audit. You would have to standardize job titles (no more of this hipster "Director of Zen Relations" bullshit) so that an audit would fairly and accurately compare like job titles between men and women.

  • or not. Remember gay marriage thing in California from ten years ago? When population voted several times to instate marriage as it is, and Californian Supreme Court striking it down?

  • I'm glad some judges aren't idiots and won't drink the Kool Aid. Guessing he's heard of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik... [wikipedia.org] and realized he needed proof, not feels.
    • As opposed to idiots who don't read the fucking article. The judge did not throw out the lawsuit. The judge "rejected their request to make the suit a class action. " The lawsuit still stands just not as a class action AND they can amend the complaint to address the judges issue over class action status.

      Fucking moron.

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