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Oracle accused of ‘stark patterns’ of discrimination

Oracle accused of ‘stark patterns’ of discrimination

Tech company rejects “meritless lawsuit” by US government agency

Credit: Oracle

Oracle has been accused of “stark patterns of discrimination” in relation to the salaries paid to female, African American and Asian employees at its Redwood Shores HQ.

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in early 2017 filed its initial complaint against Oracle America alleging the company had “a systemic practice of paying Caucasian male workers more than their counterparts in the same job title, which led to pay discrimination against female, African American and Asian employees”.

The OFCCP complaint, filed with the Office of Administrative Law Judges, arose from a compliance review of the company’s equal employment practices at its Redwood Shores headquarters that began in 2014.

Oracle, the department said, had “refused to comply with the agency’s routine requests for employment data and records”.

The OFCCP earlier this week sought to amend its complaint — with a legal filing from the agency saying that its amended complaint would help narrow and clarify the issues in the case, “simplifying the matters in dispute and providing a more direct path to the hearing in this matter”.

It said that preliminary analysis of data it received in October and November 2017 strengthened its claims about discriminatory remuneration practices.

The OFCCP said that there were two potential pathways for discrimination: The tech giant’s reliance on prior salary in setting initial pay and/or the “channelling of female, Black and Asian employees into lower-paid careers at Oracle”.

The agency said that analysis of the information it had obtained during the discovery phase of the lawsuit indicated that “Oracle suppressed starting salaries for its female and non-White employees, assigned them to lower level positions and depressed their wages over the years they worked at Oracle”.

Oracle’s method of compensation employees resulted in “losses of more than [US]$400 million for female, Black and Asian employees,” the agency claims.

Oracle has strongly rejected the allegations.

“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,” Oracle executive vice president and general counsel Dorian Daley said in a statement.

“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.”

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