Google’s stance in Labor Dept feud shows why we need pay transparency now

Google recently claimed that it had closed the gender wage gap among its global employees and also achieved pay parity across different races for its U.S. staffers. The search giant then shared its playbook to help other companies interested in achieving pay equity.

But the Department of Labor isn’t buying it. The DOL accused the company of  “extreme discrimination” against women in a San Francisco court hearing held to get the company to provide documents relating to its salary data. As a federal contractor, the company is required to disclose data that supports fair and equitable employment practices. But Google is resisting saying the cost to do so is prohibitive (estimated at $1 million) and that it would be a violation of the privacy of its employees. 

Google’s already heavily invested in diversity initiatives and surely the brilliant minds on their teams could find a way to strip pay data of the most sensitive information. Couldn’t they (and other companies) just save themselves the trouble and report the data regularly, like the EEOC wants?

[Photo: Flickr user Roman Boed]LD