There’s an Oracle lawsuit in the news.
The big-name American technology company is being sued by the Labor Department for alleged discrimination. The suit claims that the company systematically paid white males more, while specifically favoring ethnic Asians for product development.
Naturally, Oracle denies the bombshell allegations, and has reiterated their corporate commitment to diversity.
Throughout the investigation, which began in 2014, Oracle refused to cooperate with the federal agency’s investigation. According to the USA Today:
“The lawsuit is the result of an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs review of Oracle’s equal employment opportunity practices, the Labor Department said. According to the lawsuit, Oracle America paid white male workers more, leading to pay discrimination against women, African American and Asian employees. The Labor Department also accused Oracle of favoring Asians for product development and other technical roles, resulting in discrimination against non-Asian applicants.”
What’s on the line?
Oracle is a big recipient of federal contracts, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Needless to say, systemic discrimination is not something the federal government takes lightly, and if the labor department can demonstrate in court that the company isn’t changing its practices, they stand to lose lots of those lucrative contracts.
Oracle says the allegations are “baseless and politically motivated.”
Diversity in tech: Hot button issue
When President Trump met with all of the tech moguls at Trump tower prior to his inauguration, something was conspicuously absent: any sort of diversity. While diversity in tech is something that most Silicon Valley companies say they’re committed to, it appears that they have a long way to go.
Gender and racial parity in pay is an issue that’s near and dear to many. As a result, in recent months, the Labor Department has been aggressively pursuing discrimination claims against Silicon Valley companies that display patterns of illegal and exclusionary behavior.
Some companies have been sued, while others like Google, have been asked to turn over information regarding compensation among their employee ranks.
Takeaway: Do the right thing
Regardless of the final outcome of the federal government’s lawsuit, companies should do the right thing. Their final objective should be to attract the best talent, and retain that talent through fair compensation. Skewing your application process, or not paying your employees fairly, in the end, only hurts your own bottom line.
In the end, most studies show that there is power is diversity, and that a varied pool of employees contributes to heftier profits. For corporate America, it would appear to be a win-win: increasing diversity helps improve profitability and is the right thing to do.
Moving forward, all we can ask of the tech titans is precisely that–do the right thing, and your profit hungry shareholders will thank you.
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