California: Oracle Settles Gender Pay Discrimination Lawsuit for $25 Million

Manoj Prasad

Tech giant Oracle has agreed to pay $25 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing it of persistently underpaying female employees in California.

The settlement offer was filed Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court. As of 2013, approximately 4,000 current and former Oracle women may receive compensation with a judge’s approval.

The plaintiffs alleged in 2017 that Oracle paid men less than women for similar work in violation of state and federal pay equity laws.

Class action status allows most affected employees to participate without any legal expense or effort. Collective status was taken away by a previous decision, but this agreement restores it.

Attorney Erin Pulaski noted the importance of class actions for accountability, saying, “This is an excellent result for the plaintiffs and class members.”

Under the agreement, eligible employees are women who have worked in Oracle’s product development, IT or support groups in California since June 2013.

The share of income of each member of the total settlement class will be in proportion to the payment. Oracle is also committed to analyzing internal pay disparities and implementing expert recommendations.

Despite recently moving its headquarters from California to Texas, the company has maintained a prominent location in the Golden State. Oracle did not respond to a request for comment.

Law experts say such cases make corporates aware of pay discrimination and compliance needs.

β€œEmployers have a heightened awareness of their legal obligations under California and federal pay equity laws,” Pulaski said. β€œThis is a result of pay discrimination lawsuits attracting public attention.”

Eliminating comparable estimates, Oracle’s $25 million contract is similar to Google’s $118 million contract last year. As usual, none of the tech companies admitted wrongdoing despite huge payouts.

However, it does signal progress in closing the pay gap facing working women across the country.

Tech companies are often scrutinized, but gender pay discrimination exists across all industries.

Class action lawsuits have become an arena of struggle to enforce transparency and address systemic inequality. Gradually, employers understand that discriminatory habits previously ignored must change.

Settlement costs may seem small to Silicon Valley giants. But ethical pay standards combined with the audits demanded are more than just compensation.

After years of facing allegations, Oracle’s $25 million settlement highlights relatively incremental, yet meaningful, progress toward equal pay for equal work regardless of gender.

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