The Department of Labor has been looking into whether Google discriminated against women by paying them less.
Google has claimed that it is too expensive for it to compile and disclose salary records to the U.S. government, following accusations that the tech giant systematically discriminates against women. But many who've read the company's earnings reports are shaking their heads.
Google is a contractor for the United States federal government and is thus required to meet the requirements of equal opportunity laws and permit the review of records.
According to Google, the requests from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), a section of the Labour Department, were "overbroad in scope or reveal confidential data". It has strongly denied it pays female employees less than men.
She also complained that Google's already spent nine minutes' worth of revenue ($500,000) trying to compile the data it doesn't want to provide the DoL. Among other things, the difficulties involve privacy concerns and the need to redact some information to protect employees, Google said.
According to Eliasoph, Google has earned "millions" from lucrative government contracts and in 2015 announced "with great public fanfare" an investment of $150 million into diversity initiatives. One 2016 report found that computer programming is the most unfair occupation in America in regard to women's salaries.
Google attorney Lisa Barnett Sween argued that the court's powers are too broad and unconstitutional (something that won't change the labour-court's mind, but hints at how the company will argue if it has to take this all the way to the Supreme Court). These requests include thousands of employees' private contact information which we safeguard rigorously. As a federal contractor, we're familiar with our obligations and have worked collaboratively with the OFCCP. "We've worked hard to comply with the OFCCP's current audit and have provided hundreds of thousands of records over the past year, including those related to compensation. We hope to continue working with OFCCP to resolve this matter".
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.