Google tried to restrict the media coverage of a gender discrimination case brought by the US government alleging that the company had violated federal laws when it did not provide employees’ salary history and contact information as part of an audit, a media report has revealed.
The company tried to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor, claiming that a government attorney may have violated ethics rules after he/she did an interview with the Guardian. Referring to the court documents, the newspaper on Monday said Google unsuccessfully argued that a judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor (DoL).
The DoL had accused Google of systematically underpaying women and the court battle centres on the company’s refusal to hand over salary data the government has requested to which Google replied by saying that the data request was overly broad and violates its workers’ privacy. The report observed that the motion for dismissal of the case shows Google’s aggressive efforts to end the case.
Critics said it appeared that Google was attempting to limit media scrutiny with unusual tactics that raise free press concerns and seem to contradict the corporation’s public claims that it is committed to transparency and accountability in its efforts to promote equal pay.
It was also reported that Google tried to restrict press access during a hearing last month.
“Following a private meeting with the judge about the Guardian’s reporting, Google’s attorney requested that the proceeding be closed to the media before continuing, but a DoL attorney objected and the judge sided with the government,” the report said.
Google has repeatedly claimed that it has eliminated its gender pay gap globally with innovative compensation models.