Human Resources News & Insights

Nike bolsters wages of 7K staffers to close pay gap: Will other firms follow its lead?

Nike just joined an increasing number of employers that are making sweeping pay changes in an effort to close the gaps between male and female employees’ paychecks and prevent bias problems down the road. 

The athletic retail giant handed out raises to 7,000 employees – roughly 10% of its staff – to achieve competitive pay among men, women and minorities. Moving forward, Nike says it will conduct deeper analyses of all roles in the company to ensure everyone is compensated fairly.

The move comes on the heels of the findings in an anonymous employee survey which revealed many female employees have experienced gender discrimination, as well as sexual harassment.

Not over yet

Of course, Nike isn’t the only major corporation to make news over equal pay or lackthereof. Google just got a lot of press over an equal pay lawsuit. And, after a series of blows against its pay practices, a judge finally granted Google some good news. But the ruling also made it clear the tech juggernaut’s legal saga wasn’t over yet.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Mary E. Wiss dismissed the class proposed in a class-action lawsuit against Google, which claimed the company systematically paid male employees more than females.

Specifically, Judge Wiss said the class status, which sought to cover “all women employed by Google in California” was too broad. According to Wiss,

“This class definition does not purport to distinguish between female employees who may have valid claims against Google based upon its alleged conduct from those who do not.”

As HR Morning reported previously, three ex-employees who filed the suit quit after being placed in career tracks that they claim would pay them less than their male counterparts.

One of the ex-employees, Kelly Ellis, said she quit Google in 2014 after male engineers with similar experience were hired to higher-paying job levels and after she was denied a promotion despite stellar performance reviews.

What’s next?

While Judge Wiss dismissed the initial class status proposed by the plaintiffs, she is allowing the women to file an amended complaint.

And the plaintiffs’ attorney, James Finberg, says he intends to do just that — by Jan. 3. Finberg says the amended complaint will make it clear “that Google violates the California Equal Pay Act by paying women less than men for substantially equal work in nearly every job classification.”

Those claims against the company were echoed by a recent federal labor investigation into Google’s pay practices.

The preliminary finding of that investigation uncovered systematic pay discrimination among 21,000 employees at Google’s headquarters, and the initial stages of the review found women earned less than men in nearly every job classification.

The final outcome of this equal pay lawsuit could have implications for employers of all stripes, so we’ll keep you updated. Stay tuned!

CiteEllis v. Google Inc.

 

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