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Google Loses $1 Million Over Discrimination Case

Google will have to pay Ulku Rowe, a former female Cloud executive, $1.1 million after being found guilty of discrimination and denying her promotions in retribution for her complaints.

The jury ruled in Rowe’s favour in terms of both punitive damages, pain, and suffering and that she was treated “differently than other employees because of her gender.”

However, the jury felt the former executive did not prove that the tech titan violated New York law by giving better pay to less-experienced male counterparts.

According to Rowe, her experience at Google was “overshadowed by what I believe are unfair compensation and treatment due to my gender.”

Despite her qualifications and experience working at Google, she claimed she watched as a male who had not applied nor had the right background was given a Vice President role. Additionally, once she filed her lawsuit, she was denied another comparable promotion.

Regarding the outcome, Attorney Cara Greene of Outten & Golden asserted the “unanimous verdict not only validates Ms. Rowe’s allegations of mistreatment by Google,” but highlights that “discrimination and retaliation will not be tolerated in the workplace.”

In Google’s camp, spokesperson Courtenay Mencini said the company was “pleased” with the jury’s ruling that Rowe had been “paid and levelled fairly,” and that “she was not subsequently denied any promotions — with no violation of New York’s pay equity laws.”

Additionally, she said: “We disagree with the jury’s finding that Ms. Rowe was discriminated against on account of her gender or that she was retaliated against for raising concerns about her pay, level, and gender.

We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy. We take employee concerns seriously, and we thoroughly investigated Ms. Rowe’s concerns when she raised them and found there was no discrimination or retaliation.”

The outcome was also linked to the work of Google workers, because thousands of Googlers who walked out in 2018 and demanded reforms, Green said.

In 2018, roughly 20,000 Google employees and contractors staged a walk-out protest when a New York Times investigation discovered Android co-founder was sent off with $90 million even when leaving the company over sexual assault allegations.

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