Federal lawsuit addresses discrimination in tech

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A California tech company is facing a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the complaint, discrimination caused black, Asian and female employees at Oracle to lose $400 million in wages over four years. The federal department began investigating the company in 2014 and initially filed its claim in 2017. It says that the software company used two primary mechanisms that enforced discriminatory practices in the workplace. In the first place, it based the pay of workers newly hired on their previous salaries rather than market rates, skills or achievement. This then limited their ability to increase their salaries throughout their careers.

In addition, the Department of Labor accused Oracle of workplace discrimination in its hiring practices from colleges and universities. The federal lawsuit said that of 500 people hired over a three-year period from the recent graduate school, 90 percent were Asian, despite the fact that the hiring pool was only 65 percent Asian. In addition, Oracle’s preference was targeted to Asian visa holders, whose authorization to work was dependent on Oracle, rather than Asian Americans. Because these workers had to work for Oracle to remain in the U.S., their salaries and those of other workers could be suppressed.

The complaint also focuses on the fact that Oracle receives around $100 million each year in payments on federal government contracts. Indeed, the company relies significantly on major public contracts for its income. The lawsuit calls for an order to cancel the software firm’s federal government contracts and subcontracts based on its discriminatory practices.

The Oracle case is one of many instances of employment discrimination that have been reported in the tech industry. Employees who have lost out on jobs and promotions due to discrimination can work with employment attorneys to seek compensation.