Last week, Oracle was sued by the U.S Department of Labor for their reported unethical hiring process and the wage gap between white males and minorities. The Labor Department stated that the company’s compensation policies discriminate against women, Black and Asian employees. The spokeswoman of the company defended Oracle’s hiring processes, stating, “The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit. Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.”
However, the Department of Labor believes that the latest technology company systematically pays white male employees more than their counterparts in similar positions. In the beginning of the investigation in 2014, Oracle refused to comply with the agency’s routine requests for data and records on employees. For example, Oracle refused to share compensation data for employees and employee complaints of discrimination to the agency.
The suit also states that the company allegedly discriminates against non-Asian applicants (that is, the company is said to prefer hiring Asians) in its recruiting and hiring process for technical roles. The U.S Labor Department has warned the company that this lawsuit can potentially cause the company hundreds of millions in federal contracts. Bloomberg states that if Oracle does not change its discriminatory practices, their contracts with the federal government, could be severed and Oracle could potentially be barred from seeking new ones.
This lawsuit against Oracle shines light on the lack of diversity in employees across the technology industry. Google, another tech giant, has been sued for refusing to turn over compensation data on its employees. Both Oracle and Google refused to turn over relevant information about its pay practices during anti-discrimination audits, which has led the Department of Labor to believe that both of these companies are likely practicing unethical behavior. Currently, the Office of Administrative Law Judges is seeking complete relief for the affected class and a reform of discriminatory policies. The case does not have yet have a set court date. It is expected that Oracle, like many others, will settle out of court.
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