A U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) filing, made on January 25, alleged that Oracle discriminated against Black, Asian and female employees, as well as international workers with visas by driving them into low paying roles and ultimately underpaying them to the tune of $400 million.
The OFCCP, which enforces equal pay and ensures government contractors comply with anti-discrimination legislation, state that Oracle “impermissibly denies an equal employment opportunity to non-Asian applicants for employment, strongly preferring a workforce that it can later underpay. Once employed, women, Blacks, and Asians are systematically underpaid relative to their peers.” The practice allegedly dates all the way back to 2013.
The motion seeks to represent more than 4,200 women and alleges that female employees were paid on average $13,000 less per year than men doing similar work. An analysis of payroll data found disparities with an “extraordinarily high degree of statistical significance,” the complaint said. Women made 3.8% less in base salaries on average than men in the same job categories, 13.2% less in bonuses, and 33.1% less in stock value, per the filings.
The OFCCP filed the lawsuit against Oracle in January of 2018 following the Labor Department’s 2014 audit of the company. That suit was followed by a class-action lawsuit led by employees filed in September 2018, alleging Oracle pays women less than men in similar jobs.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Oracle’s EVP and General Counsel said, “This meritless lawsuit is based on false allegations and a seriously flawed process within the OFCCP that relies on cherry-picked statistics rather than reality. … We fiercely disagree with the spurious claims and will continue in the process to prove them false. We are in compliance with our regulatory obligations, committed to equality, and proud of our employees.”
Oracle, however, isn’t the only large tech company the OFCCP says has engaged in these practices. In 2017, the OFCCP discovered Google violated federal law based on information showing that systemic pay discrepancies exist within the company.