Google Agrees to $118M Settlement in Ongoing Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

On Friday, Google LLC agreed to pay a $118 million dollar settlement in a five-year long gender discrimination lawsuit against workers represented by Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Altshuler Berzon LLP. This settlement for Ellis v Google LLC will be paid to 15,500 female workers who worked at Google from 2013 and on. 

The lawsuit was filed after three women accused Google of a $17,000 wage cap compared to their male counterparts, also alleging that they were “lock[ed]  into lower career tracks.” The lead plaintiffs initially called Google’s practices “immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, and offensive to the established public policies of ensuring women and men are paid equally for performing substantially similar work.” This purportedly caused Google to “reap unfair and illegal profits” at the expense of thousands of women who worked for them.

The settlement will provide for an independent third-party expert that will analyze Google’s hiring practices and an independent labor economist that will review Google’s pay equity studies that will work for the next three years to ensure that their work is thorough and complete. The Court will review the settlement which is “in the best interest of everyone” on June 21.

The settlement distributions will be evenly split between making amends for lost wages, and for stock appreciation, interest and penalties, according to The Verge. Also, $29.5 million dollars will be paid in attorney’s fees along with $1.5 million dollars in litigation costs.The plaintiffs and Google have verified that they will fully cooperate with executing the settlement once it is approved by the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco.

The plaintiffs believe that this will be “precedent-setting for the industry” and that Google is “affirming its commitment to be a leader in ensuring pay equity and equal employment opportunity for all of their employees” by fully cooperating with this monumental settlement.

Google is represented by Paul Hastings, LLP.