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Google this: Gender pay discrimination lawsuit revived

It is very possible that you used Google today to find headlines, scores, recipes or directions. You might have even used the search engine to find our Milwaukee employment law blog.

Millions of Americans use Google every day, but few think about the people behind the search engine. The women who recently filed a revised lawsuit against the search giant hope to change that. They claim that the company routinely pays women less than men in a wide variety of jobs, including program managers, engineers, sales and even its preschool teachers.

A previous, rejected version of the lawsuit had asked for class action status. The amended suit narrows the purported affected class with specific claims of gender discrimination.

A news report on the revised legal claim says it adds “pressure to the cultural upheaval taking place in Silicon Valley over treatment of women in the technology industry." A number of executives were ousted after allegations of sexual harassment and other forms of misconduct surfaced.

The amended legal claims says Google often pays women less than men for similar work, starts women in lower salary slots and promotes women more slowly and less often than men.

The U.S. Department of Labor is also investigating Google, which the federal agency accuses of "extreme" wage discrimination against female employees.

California-based Google denies the allegations in the lawsuit, insisting that it works "really hard to create a great workplace for everyone, and to give everyone the chance to thrive here."

Starting with the first of the year, it became illegal for California employers to ask prospective employees about their pay histories. Proponents of the measure said that the questioning perpetuated the gender gap in pay.

Strengthening prohibitions against gender discrimination is one tool in the fight for wage equality. Another effective tool: fighting for the pay you have earned with the help of a skilled employment law attorney.

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