Class action lawsuit certified against Google for gender discrimination

"Systemic and pervasive pay and promotion discrimination" alleged on behalf of nearly 11,000 current and former female employees

(Clarification, June 1: since this litigation is tied to California’s equal pay law, the suit only covers current and former employees who were employed in California.)

(If you know any women who were or are employed at Google in any of the job roles listed below, feel free to forward this message to them. I've included a link to the official class action web site maintained by the law firm, and it may be helpful for people to review the material there and occasionally check for updates.)

On Thursday May 27, a California superior court greenlit a massive class action lawsuit against Google for pay and promotion discrimination, with the class size covering nearly 11,000 women over a time period of 8 years. To my knowledge, this is the largest group of workers covered by labor litigation against Google since the "let's collude to not hire each other's employees" antitrust lawsuit that the company settled, with sizable cash payouts made to thousands of Google employees, in 2015.

The plaintiffs are represented by civil rights and employment law attorney Kelly M Dermody, a Managing Partner with San Francisco law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, with co-Counsel from Altschuler Berzon LLP. From Kelly Dermody’s bio page:

[Kelly M Dermody] is Chair-Elect of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law, and a member of the ABA’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council. Kelly specializes in civil rights and employment class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs, and individual cases addressing sexual abuse, harassment, and trafficking. Kelly is a nationally-recognized advocate in the areas of pay equity, #metoo, and diversity and inclusion...

The law firm has launched an information web site at, including a history of actions so far and, more importantly, a list of official job ladders covered by the lawsuit. The class covers women who were employed from any date on or after September 14, 2013, in any role from this long list of positions:

Software Engineer; Senior Software Engineer; Staff Software Engineer; Senior Staff Software Engineer; Senior Manager for Business Systems Integration; Software Engineer Manager; Senior Software Engineer Manager; Network Engineer; Systems Administrator; Field Technician; Operations Engineer; Business Systems Integrator; Site Reliability Systems Engineer; Site Reliability Software Engineer; Project Manager; Technical Writer; Product Manager; Product Marketing Manager; User Experience (“UX”) Researcher; User Experience (“UX”) Engineer; Program Manager; Technical Program Manager; Enterprise Sales Operations Coordinator; Enterprise Sales Operations Associate; Sales Brand Evangelist (aka Sales Solution Senior Associate); Sales Representative; Account Representative; Account Manager; Preschool Teacher; and Infant/Toddler Teacher

Below I'll include a few links, with brief extracts, to various key information sources about the lawsuit.

Note that law firms are sometimes on the lookout for additional people to add as strong representatives of the class, so if you read through the material at and feel that you may have a particularly compelling story that you'd like the attorneys to know about, you can use the Contact Us link from that page to contact the firm.

- Bruce


Blog entry from plaintiff's law firm:

California Judge Certifies Class of 11,000 Former Female Employees in Google Gender Pay Bias Lawsuit

... Filed by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel Altshuler Berzon under California’s newly amended equal pay law, the Google Gender Discrimination class action is breaking new ground in tech in particular as it seeks to address two pernicious practices – the under-leveling of women relative to comparable men at hire, and using candidates’ past salary information to determine their pay rate, a process thought to perpetuate inequity as women have historically been paid significantly less on average than men...


From the official lawsuit site:

On May 27, 2021, a California superior court judge issued an order certifying a class of nearly 11,000 former female Google workers who allege the tech giant engaged in systemic and pervasive pay and promotion discrimination against its female employees in California, at times paying women thousands of dollars less than their male counterparts...

The lawsuit also alleges that Google has violated and continues to violate the Unfair and Unlawful Business Practices Act through its violations of the California Equal Pay Act and its violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, in the following ways: (a) assigning women to lower “Levels” (i.e. salary bands) than it assigns men; (b) assigning women to jobs that do not compensate as highly as those populated largely by men; (c) promoting women more slowly and at lower rates than it promotes men; and (d) paying women less than it pays men performing similar work...


A few articles on the lawsuit:

Google Women Suing Over Gender Bias Win Class-Action Status

Business Insider:
Google is facing a class-action lawsuit over claims it paid female employees nearly $17,000 less per year than male staff for the same work

MSN / The Verge:
Google is now embroiled in a full class-action lawsuit over whether it underpaid women 


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