Plaintiffs and Google agree to $118 million settlement in pay equity class action lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The law firms of plaintiffs Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Altshuler Berzon LLP announced today that the plaintiffs have reached an agreement with defendant Google LLC (“Google”), in which Google will pay $118 million dollars to settle a sex discrimination class action lawsuit. , Ellis v Google LLCNo. CGC-17-561299, pending since 2017. The settlement affects approximately 15,500 female employees in 236 job titles (“Covered Positions”) in California since September 14, 2013.

In addition to the financial relief, the settlement provides for an independent third-party expert to analyze Google’s hiring leveling practices and an independent labor economist to review Google’s pay equity studies. Post-settlement work will be overseen by an external settlement controller over the next three years. The lawsuit challenged Google’s compensation and leveling processes, and the plaintiffs believe these programs will help ensure that women are not paid less than their male counterparts who perform substantially similar work, and that the challenged leveling practices of Google are fair.

Applicants: The named plaintiffs are Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, Kelli Wisuri and Heidi Lamar. All of the complainants are women who had worked for Google in California in a covered position since September 14, 2013. Their backgrounds:

Complainant Kelly Ellis worked as a software engineer at Google’s office in Mountain View for about four years, leaving the company with the title of senior manager.

Plaintiff Holly Pease worked for Google for approximately 10.5 years, in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, holding numerous technical leadership positions including: Manager, Enterprise Network Engineering; Manager, Business Systems Integration; Manager, Enterprise Data Warehouse/Reporting Team; and Senior Manager, Business Systems Integration.

Plaintiff Kelli Wisuri worked for Google for approximately 2.5 years in its Mountain View office, serving as Corporate Operations Coordinator, Corporate Sales Operations Associate and Google Brand Evangelist, Communications Program Executive (aka Sales Solutions Senior Associate ).

Complainant Heidi Lamar worked as a preschool teacher and infant/toddler teacher at Google’s Children Center in Palo Alto for about four years.

Next steps: The court will set a hearing date for the preliminary approval of the settlement, which, if approved, will result in the Third Party Administrator sending notice to class members. If the court subsequently grants final approval of the settlement, the third-party administrator will allocate the settlement amounts based on an objective formula to each eligible class member. More information is available on the website:

Settlement Statements:

“As a woman who has spent her entire career in the tech industry, I’m optimistic that the steps Google has agreed to take in this settlement will ensure more fairness for women,” the company said. complainant Holly Pease. “Google, since its inception, has led the tech industry. They also have the opportunity to lead the charge to ensure the inclusion and equity of women in tech.”

Plaintiffs’ co-lawyer Kelly Dermody said, “Plaintiffs believe this settlement advances gender equity at Google and will set an industry precedent.”

“Google has long been a technology leader. We are pleased that in this settlement agreement and order, Google will also affirm its commitment to be a leader in pay equity and equal employment opportunity. employment for all of its employees,” said plaintiffs’ co-lawyer Jim Finberg.

Claimant Counsel Information:

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP: Lieff Cabraser is one of the largest and most successful law firms in the country, exclusively representing plaintiffs in civil litigation, having obtained verdicts or settlements worth more than $127 billion for clients in national scale. With 120 attorneys, the firm has conducted some of the most significant litigation of the past decade, including the VW clean diesel emissions case, which cost VW owners more than $15 billion (In re: Volkswagen ‘Clean Diesel’ Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Readability Litigation, MDL No. 2672 (Federal Court for the Northern District of California); and the high-tech cold-call wage conspiracy case alleging an agreement between leading tech companies not to poach each other’s employees, which resulted in settlements totaling $435 million. dollars (In re: High Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, 11-cv-2509-LJK (Federal Court for the Northern District of California). Partner Kelly Dermody, co-lead attorney here, led Advanced technology for his business. She is currently Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association and Managing Partner of the San Francisco office of Lieff Cabraser.

Altshuler Berzon LLP: Altshuler Berzon LLP is a San Francisco law firm specializing in labor and employment law, constitutional, environmental, civil rights, election campaigning and impact litigation. Altshuler Berzon, LLP has served as co-lead counsel in a number of civil rights class action lawsuits, including Ries vs. McDonald’s, 1:20 CV 0002 HYJ RSK (WD Mich. 2022) (Sexual Harassment Class Action); and Satchell v Federal Express, C03-2878 SI (ND Cal.) (class action for racial discrimination). Altshuler Berzon is currently Co-Lead Counsel in the Jewett vs. Oracle Class action under the Equal Pay Act in San Mateo Superior Court, 17 Civ 02669 (San Mateo Sup.) Scheduled for trial on January 23, 2023.

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