The Department of Labor is suing Oracle for allegedly paying white men more than other employees and discriminating against non-Asian job applicants when hiring for technical roles.The lawsuit stems from Oracle’s role providing cloud computing software to federal agencies, totaling “hundreds of millions” in contracts, according to the Department of Labor.
Earlier this month, the Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Google, pressuring it to turn over compensation data on its employees. The agency also sued Palantir, a data software startup, in September for allegedly discriminating against Asian applicants.
The series of government lawsuits comes as Silicon Valley is very publicly trying – and often failing – to improve its diversity. Annual transparency reports from many of the big companies reveal the tech industry remains largely white and male.
The increased media attention may be influencing the Department of Labor as well.
“They read the same stories that everyone else reads. It’s something I’m sure they take note of,” says D. Michael Hancock, a former Department of Labor official who now works as a lawyer with the Civil Rights & Employment practice at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. “They probably said, ‘Now that we're getting [employee] complaints, we should take a closer look.’”
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