Oracle Engaged in Pay Discrimination: Department of Labor

Oracle is accused of withholding roughly $400 million in wages from underrepresented employees, according to a filing by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The filing suggests that Oracle paid women, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans less than their Caucasian counterparts. In addition, it added, Oracle “continues to utilize a recruiting and hiring process that discriminates against qualified African American, Hispanic and White (hereinafter ‘non-Asians’) applicants in favor of Asian applicants.”

It apparently took years for the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to persuade Oracle to turn over its applicant and employee data covering 2013 through 2016. Even after Oracle produced the data, legal battles between OFCCP and the company consumed the next few years.

“Oracle’s discrimination against its own employees has cost these employees at least $401,000,000 in lost wages for the period from 2013-16,” the government ultimately claims.

For its part, Oracle suggests the claims are meritless.

“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,” the company wrote in a statement to TechCrunch. “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.”

Over the past few years, surveys have hinted at pay gaps between different groups of employees. For example, a survey conducted last year by Dice and Bustle found that 82 percent of women in tech believed there was a wage gap; meanwhile, 60 percent said they were treated differently than their male colleagues.

Within larger tech firms, there was also a potential promotion gap: some 8 percent of women reported receiving a promotion within the past year, versus 15 percent of men. And 32 percent of women had received a raise during that period, compared to 45 percent of men.

Despite tech giants’ very public attempts at fostering diversity, some 36 percent of tech pros have reported witnessing or experiencing discrimination at the office, according to recent survey data from Blind. And as this new OFCCP filing shows, allegations of discrimination can attract sizable attention from the government.

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