By Ethan Baron Mercury News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Google has been accused by the U.S. Department of Labor of "extreme" pay discrimination against women. The department is suing Google in a San Francisco federal administrative court trying to compel it to produce employee-pay data and names and contact information for workers. A judge's decision is expected soon.
As the annual stockholders' meeting for Google's parent firm Alphabet approaches, investors including a wealth-management company are asking shareholders to demand a report on a gender-pay gap the tech giant contends does not exist.
The stockholder proposal seeks approval at the meeting Wednesday for the creation of a report outlining "policies and goals to reduce the gender pay gap" at the Mountain View tech behemoth.
Such a report "would include the percentage pay gap between male and female employees across race and ethnicity, including base, bonus and equity compensation, policies to address that gap, methodology used, and quantitative reduction targets," according to the proposal, contained in a proxy statement to shareholders.
While the proposal from investors Eleanor Shorter and CB Wealth Generation provides statistics about the company's lack of gender equality in its workforce and in leadership roles, it provides no information indicating women at the company are paid less than men.
The issue, however, is a hot one for Alphabet and Google, the subsidiary that makes up the vast majority of Alphabet's business.
Google has been accused by the U.S. Department of Labor of "extreme" pay discrimination against women. The department is suing Google in a San Francisco federal administrative court trying to compel it to produce employee-pay data and names and contact information for workers. A judge's decision is expected soon.
Unsurprisingly, since Google has said definitively in connection with the lawsuit that "there is no gender pay gap at Google," the Alphabet board is recommending that shareholders vote against the measure.
The board, however, stops short of denying that a gender pay gap exists in the company.
"The compensation structure at Google is designed to prevent gender pay differences by setting pay targets by job," says the board's opposing statement. "The pay targets are set using pay data on peer companies collected from industry surveys.
"Pay equity analyses are also conducted regularly to determine whether our compensation structure is working as intended."