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Google ordered to pay $1 million in gender bias lawsuit settlement

A New York jury has ruled that Google must pay more than $1 million in compensation to Ulku Rowe, a Google Cloud engineering director who alleged gender-based discrimination and retaliation by the tech giant. Rowe claimed that Google hired her for a lower-paying and lower-ranking position than men with less experience who were hired for similar roles at the same time. She also asserted that she was passed over for a promotion in favor of a less-qualified male colleague.

The court has mandated that Google pay Rowe a total of $1.15 million in damages, although it was noted that she couldn’t prove that the company violated New York’s equal pay law.

Rowe joined Google in 2017, bringing 23 years of experience to the role. She observed that the company placed her at a level with significantly lower compensation than what was offered to male employees. In 2019, approximately 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout to demand changes in the company’s handling of sexual misconduct and discrimination cases. Google pledged to enhance its response to sexual harassment.

This lawsuit by Rowe marks the first such case Google has faced since those protests. In response to the verdict, Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini emphasized the company’s commitment to fairness, asserting that they strongly believe in their “levelling and compensation processes.” Mencini disagreed with the jury’s finding that Google had discriminated against Rowe on the basis of her gender and that it had retaliated against her for raising concerns about pay, rank, and gender. She stated that the company prohibits workplace retaliation and conducts thorough investigations into employee concerns, having found no instances of discrimination or retaliation in Rowe’s case.

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