A new lawsuit alleges that Google has discriminated against a female senior executive in Google Cloud “by hiring her at a lower level and paying her less compensation than her similarly situated male peers, denying her additional earned compensation, and denying her a promotion for which she was the most qualified – instead hiring a less qualified man for the role.”
Ulku Rowe, a highly qualified technology executive with more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and technology industries, sued Google in U.S. District Court in New York, alleging the technology company violated the Equal Pay Act and New York Equal Pay Law, as well as the New York City Human Rights Act.
Attorneys Cara E. Greene and Shira Gelfand, of the New York office of Outten & Golden LLP, represent Ms. Rowe.
According to the complaint, “Though Google considers [Ms. Rowe] a key employee with subject-matter expertise in several of its technologies and applications, upon information and belief, Google pays her less than her male colleagues for performing substantially similar work and having equal or better qualifications.”
The complaint alleges that, “After accepting the position, Ms. Rowe learned that Google had hired similarly situated male Technical Directors at Level 9, a level that pays [significantly] more in total annual compensation than Level 8.” Further, “Not only did Google discriminate against [Ms. Rowe] in hiring and compensation, Google denied her a promotion into a [Vice President of Financial Services] position for which she was the most-qualified candidate and instead promoted a less-qualified man.”
Both the federal Equal Pay Act and the New York Equal Pay Law make it illegal for employers to pay an employee less than an employee of the opposite sex for equal work, and the New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, including in compensation and promotion decisions.
The publicly filed lawsuit comes less than a year after the Nov. 1, 2018 walk-out at Google, in which more than 20,000 employees participated. Among the demands made in connection with the walk-out was that Google commit to end pay and opportunity inequity in the organization and eliminate forced arbitration at the company.
Ms. Greene said, “Many women face unequal playing fields in the workplace, whether around pay, promotion, or job opportunities, and we hope this lawsuit empowers other women to step forward and speak out about their experiences to effectuate real change.”
The case is “Ulku Rowe v. Google Inc.,” Case No. 1:19-cv-08655 in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.
Cara E. Greene, Outten & Golden LLP, 212.245.1000, @email
Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for Outten & Golden LLP, 281.703.6000, @email.