U.S. government denied access to Google data in gender pay gap row

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 17, 2017

"We were concerned that these requests went beyond the scope of what was relevant to this specific audit, and posed unnecessary risks to employees' privacy", she wrote.

The Labor Department should move more slowly and deliberately with its investigation, Berlin added, rather than demanding data in bulk while offering "nothing credible or reliable to show that its theory [.is] anything more than speculation".

The ruling drew praise from Eileen Naughton, vice president for people operations at Google.

That allegation came amid a lawsuit - seeking large amounts of detailed employee data - by the department's office for contract compliance, which enforces federal laws over USA government contractors such as Google.

Google was ordered to give the U.S. government a 2014 snapshot of the wage data, along with contact information for thousands of its employees for possible interviews, said Judge Steve Berlin in a provisional ruling released in public on Sunday, according to the Guardian.

"Anyone alive today likely is aware of data breaches surrounding this country's most recent Presidential election", Berlin wrote.

Under the proposed order, Google must still provide the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, or OFCCP, with more data related to employees' demographic information.

The agency was looking for personal information of employees who have worked with Google in the past 15 years.

The Labor Department had sued Google for extensive job and salary history and other data after it said it found "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce". Ransomware being used internationally is reportedly derived from tools hacked from our national security agencies.

If the Department of Labor doesn't file an appeal and the judge's recommendation stays then Google will have to comply with the rest of the order and share "limited data set of information" of over 8,000 employees.

The Labor Department's federal solicitor in San Francisco, Janet Herold, told The Register: "The court's decision vindicates OFCCP's vigorous enforcement of the disclosure and anti-discrimination obligations federal contractors voluntarily accept in exchange for taxpayer funds". The company's lawyers argued last month the Labor Department might have violated ethics rules by talking to the press about the federal investigation.

Critics of Silicon Valley have drawn fierce attention to its lack of diversity and its tendency to marginalize minorities and women, at times highlighting cases of unwanted sexual advances from male co-workers or refusals by management to address toxic workplace culture problems.

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