Google has agreed to pay $118 million to settle a case that alleges the Big Tech company paid its female employees less than men for similar work.
As part of the settlement, reached Friday and ending a case that was first brought by former employees in 2017, a third party will analyze Google's pay practices. A Superior Court judge in San Francisco will now be required to approve the agreement.
The hefty settlement covers about 15,500 female employees of the company across 236 job titles in California for the better part of the last decade.
The suit accused the conglomerate of "systematically paying" female employees lower compensation than male employees, as well as assigning and keeping women in job levels with lower salary caps and more limited opportunities to advance.
One former manager who sued the company, Holly Pease, said that she's "optimistic that the actions Google has agreed to take as part of this settlement will ensure more equity for women."
"Google, since its founding, has led the tech industry," she said. "They also have an opportunity to lead the charge to ensure inclusion and equity for women in tech."
A spokesperson for the company said that it is "absolutely committed to paying, hiring and leveling all employees fairly and equally" and has used a pay equity analysis for the last nine years to ensure that salaries, bonuses, and equity awards are fair.
"While we strongly believe in the equity of our policies and practices, after nearly five years of litigation, both sides agreed that resolution of the matter, without any admission or findings, was in the best interest of everyone. We’re very pleased to reach this agreement," the spokesperson also said.