Labor Department sues Oracle for pay and hiring discrimination

The U.S. Labor Department filed a complaint against Oracle America for allegedly paying its white male workers more than other employees. The technology company was also accused of illegally favoring Asian job seekers when hiring for technical positions.

The department said white male workers at Oracle’s Redwood Shores, California, offices were paid more than their female and nonwhite counterparts who had the same job titles. This held true even after accounting for seniority and experience. The lawsuit claimed Oracle engaged in pay discrimination against female, Asian and African American employees.

At the same time, the department alleged Oracle preferred to hire Asian workers for product development and other technical positions over black, white or Hispanic job seekers. Since Oracle is a federal contractor, it is prohibited from discriminating against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, national origin or disability.

According to the Labor Department, the lawsuit resulted from a review of Oracle’s equal employment opportunity practices. The federal agency said Oracle refused to cooperate with the investigation, which began in 2014. The company declined to provide data about its pay practices, hiring information and records of employee discrimination complaints.

The Labor Department said the lawsuit could cost Oracle hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts. Silicon Valley companies have come under fire recently for lack of diversity in an industry that is dominated by white and Asian male employees. Large technology companies like Google and Palantir have been hit with discrimination lawsuits.

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