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California judge dismisses lawsuit over Google's pay to women, but it could be refiled

Ethan Baron, The Mercury News on

Published in Business News

A lawsuit by three female former Google employees claiming that the company paid women less than men has been dismissed, but may reappear in a different form.

The women -- Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri -- sued in September, alleging that Google had a "sexist culture" and systematically discriminated against women by segregating them into lower-paying jobs and career tracks, while men with equivalent qualifications leaped ahead.

Google, which is also facing a federal investigation of its pay to women, has denied paying women less than men, and says its own annual analysis shows no gap in pay between the genders.

A California state court judge threw out the lawsuit because in seeking class-action status, it cast too wide a net, Reuters reported.

The plaintiffs had sought to include in the suit all women employed by Google in the previous four years.

Wiss gave the three women 30 days to file a new complaint "on behalf of only those women who faced pay discrimination," Reuters reported

 

James Finberg, lawyer for the women, said they would file a new complaint by early January that "makes clear that Google violates the California Equal Pay Act ... by paying women less than men for substantially equal work in nearly every job classification," according to Reuters.

For plaintiff Ellis, a former senior software engineer, the lawsuit was not the first time she's gone after Google on gender issues. In 2015, she said in a Twitter post that she had been subjected to sexual harassment at the company. She complained, but instead of investigating her claim, Google reprimanded her, Ellis alleged said. Google did not respond to a request for comment on that claim by Ellis.

(c)2017 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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