The government says it has evidence of an 'extreme' gender pay gap at Google

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Government investigators looking into how Google pays its employees accused the tech giant of shortchanging women doing similar work to men.

A U.S. Department of Labour official disclosed the agency’s allegations during a Friday court hearing in San Francisco. The Guardian reported on the testimony of Janette Wipper, a regional director for the Labour Department.

Google says it vehemently disagreed with the charges of sex discrimination, which the Mountain View, California, company said it hadn’t heard until Wipper’s court appearance.

“The investigation is not complete, but at this point the department has received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters,” said Janet Herold, regional solicitor at the Department of Labour, according to The Guardian report.

“The government’s analysis at this point indicates that discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry,” Herold continued.

Google and other technology companies have been trying to improve hiring practices that have historically doled out most of their technical jobs to white and Asian men. Their efforts to strike a better balance have been mostly unsuccessful so far.

The Labour Department is suing Oracle, claiming the company pays white male employees more than counterparts with the same job title. Oracle has said the allegations are “wholly without merit.”

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