Feds: Oracle Underpaid Women And Black Employees

Written by Ann Brown

Computer software company Oracle underpaid women and employees of color upwards of $400 million, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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The suit claims that Oracle discriminated against Black, Asian, Hispanic, and female employees. In the court documents, the U.S. government said the company is biased and refuses to hire applicants from certain backgrounds.

The court papers state that Oracle “has also been accused of underpaying 5,000 female employees, with Asian employees also claiming lower pay than their counterparts. Of the 500 people that were hired at the company for technical roles, only six were Black and five were Hispanic,” Forbes reported.

Oracle has been underpaying certain employees for at least four years and this is the alleged reason behind Oracle hiring more Asian workers:

The Labor Department claims that Oracle strongly prefers hiring Asians with student visas for certain roles because they are “dependent upon Oracle for sponsorship in order to remain in the United States,” so the company can systematically underpay them, Wired reported.

Oracle overwhelmingly hired Asian engineers

From  2013 to 2016, 90 percent of the 500 engineers hired by Oracle through its college-recruiting program for product development positions at its California headquarters were Asian, according to the Labor Department. Only six of the new hires for the same period were Black. Black, Asian, and female employees are also steered to lower paid jobs.

Oracle underpaid women, Blacks, and Asians in comparison to their peers. “The department says some women were underpaid by as much as 20 percent compared with their male peers, or $37,000 in 2016,” Wired reported.

In this June 5, 2014 photo, a man walks in front of the Oracle campus in Redwood City, Calif. Oracle reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

“Oracle’s suppression of pay for its non-white, non-male employees is so extreme that it persists and gets worse over long careers; female, Black, and Asian employees with years of experience are paid as much as 25 percent less than their peers,” according to an updated complaint. “Oracle’s compensation practices cause an increasing pay gap as those employees devote more of their lives to Oracle.”

The reason the Labor Department starting looking into the hiring and paying practices of Oracle in 2017 is that the tech giant has government contracts worth more than $100 million a year. If the government prevails in the lawsuit, these government contracts could be canceled and Oracle barred from future contracts until it complies.

Oracle denies the charges. Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley in a statement called the lawsuit is “meritless,” based on false allegations, and “relies on cherry picked statistics rather than reality. 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.”

The government isn’t the only lawsuit Oracle is batting. A private lawsuit has also been by former Oracle employees who accused the company of discriminating against them because of their gender. “Lawyers for that group alleged in a new court filing that Oracle paid women $13,000 less than men in comparable jobs with comparable experience, based on expert analysis of Oracle’s pay data,” Wired reported.