Google Says Calculating Gender Pay Data Would Be Too Expensive
The excuse comes despite the company's previous claim that it had already calculated this data — on a global scale.
Calculating data to determine if a gender pay gap exists is too expensive of a project for Google, lawyers for the company said in court on Friday.
The cost? About 500 hours of work and $100,000.
"This is obviously a very time-consuming and burdensome project," said Lisa Barnett Sween, an attorney for Google.
Interestingly, the company claimed in April that it had successfully closed its gender pay gap — globally — and even provided a step-by-step guide for other companies to follow to do the same.
— Google (@Google) April 4, 2017
According to the company's own most recent report cost should be a non-issue. Google ended the first quarter of 2017 with $24.75 billion in revenues, with Alphabet (Google's parent company) CFO Ruth Porat boasting that "revenues [are] up 22% versus the first quarter of 2016 and 24% on a constant currency basis."
Given the company's sky-high profits, "Google would be able to absorb the cost as easy as a dry kitchen sponge could absorb a single drop of water," said Labor Department attorney Ian Eliasoph.
The legal demand for the information came in January, when the Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Google when it did not provide its pay information as part of a compliance evaluation.
The discrimination "is quite extreme," even for a tech company, according to a report published last week.
Google is required to provide information about its pay history as part of evaluations because it is a federal contractor. But according to January's lawsuit, the company refused to produce its records even though the Labor Department "repeatedly attempted" to access them.
Google, which has never applied to participate in the DiversityInc Top 50 competition, has an astounding lack of diversity in its leadership ranks. According to its own diversity data, women make up just 24 percent of leadership throughout the company. Ethnic diversity is also dismal, with leadership being 70 percent white, 25 percent Asian, 2 percent Black, 2 percent two or more races, 1 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent "other."
Google's defense team also claimed Friday that the company has already spent close to half a million dollars and dedicated 2,300 hours of time to fulfill the Department of Labor's request for data.
According to Kristin Zmrhal, senior legal operations manager for Google, the extensive research and analysis at the demand of the government "became too burdensome" for the company.
Eliasoph noted that Google previously announced "with great public fanfare" that it was committing $150 million to diversity initiatives.
"Google cannot claim ... that it now has no money to comply with a federal agency seeking to ensure compliance with equal opportunity laws on behalf of the public," said Eliasoph.
He also shot down the notion that Google is too big to collect this data.
"Google takes routine requests and makes them sound onerous by emphasizing the number of people involved," he said.
The Guardian reported on the lawsuit in April. According to the publication, a regional director with the Labor Department stated in court there are "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce."
A Labor Department regional solicitor reported to The Guardian that there is "compelling evidence" against the tech giant, which has denied any wrongdoing.
"The government's analysis at this point indicates that discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry," Janet Herold, the regional solicitor, also said to the publication.
Advertisers are finally saying no to Google's lack of accountability for its content.
Google has encountered other problems this year regarding accountability. In March a boycott of Google and its platforms that began in the United Kingdom spread to the United States amid backlash due to advertisements appearing next to hateful and offensive content. At least 250 organizations have since reportedly withdrawn their advertisements from Google and its subsidiaries. (For most companies, ads will still appear in Google searches.)
The company came under fire for its proposed strategy that did not seem to go far enough to solve the problem.
The Children's Place may not be so welcoming if you're Black or Brown.
Miriam and Carlita Alejandro, Latinx sisters, shopping at The Children's Place in Camp Hill, Pa., got harassed by a nosey store clerk when they ask to price match clothes. A sales associate said the women were angry because they're on welfare.
Miriam said she was there to help a family who had lost everything in a fire by purchasing clothes for a child. Ms. Rhonda, the store clerk who was helping the ladies, said they may have to wait for the price check because the store was busy.
Miriam wrote on her Facebook page that she responded to Ms. Rhonda: "'Lancaster never gives us any issues or said such a thing, but okay.' Then Price Match Patty aka Genie who was never in our conversation started getting smart saying that we (my sister & I) 'were mad because we were on welfare.'"
Ms. Rhonda didn't know what to do when the Alejandro sisters reported what the nosey store employee said, but she attempted to chastise her. Miriam started recording to document the experience they had.
Price Match Patty has been fired, according to a company statement provided on Monday. Carlita Alejandro posted on Facebook that the company called and offered gift cards and reward points to continue spending her money at the retailer.
Because that's the way to handle your company's screw up-- buy off the people your employees have offended?
Alejandro wrote, "I will NEVER feel safe nor welcomed shopping their stores again!!"
The Children's Place has a history of discrimination. In 2000, they lost a lawsuit concerning profiling customers and had to provide anti-discrimination training in all stores in Massachusetts and hire a consultant to look at their policies.
Unrelated to the incident, two executives left the company this week (Pamela Wallack and Anurup Pruthi), "to pursue other opportunities" — the only minority and the only female in the C-Suite (other than the female CEO). The Children's Place Inc. has never participated in DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity competition.
CEO and president Jane Elfers said, "As we approach the last phase of our major systems implementations, the opportunity exists for significant efficiencies across the organization, and today we are announcing a more streamlined senior leadership structure."
Price Match Patty has not been fully identified yet, but some commenters on social media say she's married to a Black man, like Key Fob Kelly in St. Louis. That wouldn't excuse her behavior anyway.
Others say they have been profiled at that same store by Price Match Patty and others before:
"I truly wanted to make a difference and never intended to put anyone in danger," Albury said.
Former FBI Agent, Terry James Albury, 39, pleaded guilty in April to one count each of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and unauthorized retention of national defense information.
Black Man Suffering from Mental Health Illness Dies After Police Use Taser and Tackle Him in the Street
His sister, who said she left the U.S. to protect her Black son, never thought her brother would be the victim.
Chinedu Valentine Okobi, 36, a Black man, father, Morehouse College graduate, uncle and brother died of cardiac arrest after San Mateo County police tackled and repeatedly used a Taser on him in Millibrae, south of San Francisco, Calif.
Okobi was struggling with mental illness and had been weaving in and out of traffic downtown on the busy street, El Camino Real.
"Do not assume you are properly registered to vote," warns activist Shaun King.
"Do not assume you are properly registered to vote," warned Shaun King repeatedly. His wife went to vote with her registration card in her hand, and they said she couldn't vote. King said some of the reasons that people are being turned away are nefarious.
Fifteen states close registration today, including Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. States that do not have online registration: Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas.
A list of every state's deadline and links to each state's voting requirements was published by the New York Times.
An ally defends the women and calls the police. This time, the racist goes to jail.
Two women casually conversing in a supermarket in Rifle, Colo., get rudely interrupted by a woman growing increasingly irate and aggressive. Their offense: Living while Latina and speaking in Spanish in front of a white woman.
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Black women keep watch and push forward as Ford's day in court proves to be a far cry from 1991.
For every woman of color who watched the hearing today, or has followed any of the drama up to this point, our backs are heavy.