Three former employees of Google are bringing a lawsuit against the tech company for alleged discrimination in pay. Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, and Kelli Wisuri all worked at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. They quit after being put on career tracks that, they say, would have ended up paying them far less than equally qualified male coworkers.
“I have come forward to correct a pervasive problem of gender bias at Google,” said Ellis in a statement. Ellis quit Google in 2014 after she was denied a promotion despite having excellent performance reviews—and while her male coworkers continued to be promoted above her.
“It is time to stop ignoring these issues in tech,” Ellis added.
This new lawsuit is yet another in a series that includes a suit from the US Labor Department brought in January barring Google from doing business with the federal government until it releases documents related to its pay practices.
Google isn’t the only tech company facing allegations of gender discrimination: Microsoft and Twitter were both sued in 2015 for similar reasons. And that was also the year Ellen Pao sued venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for what she called a sexually charged atmosphere involving male employees preying on their female coworkers. Additionally, she said she was fired because of her gender. Though Pao lost the suit (and was later pressured into stepping down from her position at Reddit due to the fallout), it’s set in motion the opportunity for many other women to speak out about mistreatment in the tech industry.
Google denies the allegations, claiming that it strives to create an inclusive workplace. “Job levels and promotions are determined through rigorous hiring and promotion committees and must pass multiple levels of review, including checks to make sure there is no gender bias in these decisions,” said Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano. “And we have extensive systems in place to ensure that we pay fairly. But on all these topics, if we ever see individual discrepancies or problems, we work to fix them.”
Despite this, according to the company’s most recent report on its demographics, 69% of its workforce and 80% of its technical staff are male. The proportion of women to men in leadership positions has only increased 1% since last year. A New York Times report also noted that at most levels, women at Google receive lower pay and fewer bonuses than men.