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Former Female Oracle Employees Sue Company For Alleged Pay Discrimination (techcrunch.com) 121

Three female, former Oracle employees are suing Oracle for allegedly paying women less than men in similar jobs. Rong Jewett, Sophy Wang and Xian Murray filed a lawsuit August 28, seeking a class-action status to represent all other women who have worked at the company. TechCrunch reports: The lawsuit, first reported by The Information, alleges that Oracle discriminated against women by "systematically paying them lower wage rates than Oracle pays to male employees performing substantially equal or similar work under similar working conditions," the filing states. The time period the lawsuit references is four years prior to the filing and through the date of the trial in California. Referencing how the U.S. Department of Labor sued Oracle in January based on its compliance review that found "systemic discrimination against women" and "gross disparities in pay," the lawsuit states Oracle had known or should have known about the pay disparity between its male and female employees. The plaintiffs are seeking wages due, interest and liquidated damages plus interest. They also want Oracle to guarantee they won't pay women less than men for similar work in the future.
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Former Female Oracle Employees Sue Company For Alleged Pay Discrimination

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Kushners?

    • by bluelip ( 123578 )

      Bruce Jenner hasn't been invited back to be on a Wheaties box since he had his revelation. He should sue for bias discrimination.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That was bogus data in Lexus-Nexis. When people bothered to check the actual form, he was correctly listed as male.

      But who cares about tracking down the original data? They're already on to different headlines. At best, a correction will be posted on page 93.

  • by bluelip ( 123578 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @08:13PM (#55280951) Homepage Journal

    ...it does not matter. Put in the hard work. Keep your head down and solve problems. If you're not getting what you deserve, move elsewhere. Your skills are obviously, at least in your mind, in great demand so landing a better job will be easy.

    • Unless you are a lazy slob with no skills.

      Then you get what you want by constantly complaining of "discrimination".

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Saturday September 30, 2017 @04:29AM (#55282343) Homepage Journal

      No one should have to leave their job because their employer is institutionally biased against them. Especially when there is a good chance that they new employer will be the same, and it's hard to tell if they will be because everyone claims to meet their legal obligation to be fair.

      "Just leave town" is not an answer, it's divisive and unfair.

      • Has it been tried, though? Perhaps work for an employer with a strong commitment to social justice, like Google. Oh wait they're getting sued for paying women less, too. Oops. Maybe the world you wish existed is an unworkable utopia. Try measuring things against how they are in the real world, instead of measuring them against a dream.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I don't think anything ever improved by people saying "eh, that's just how it is, what can we do?"

          • Pretending things are horrid when they're not is a hallmark of Leftist bullshit for decades.
          • I don't think anything ever improved by people saying "eh, that's just how it is, what can we do?"

            That is a false dichotomy. Incrementalism is about grounding change in what we know works, and being realistic and cautious.

      • The research, completed by the Department of Sociology at Queens College in New York, showed full-time female employees in their 20s surpassing same-age males in cities like Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Dallas and New York.

        In Dallas, these women earn 20 percent more than men, while in New York City they earn 17 percent more.

        https://www.reuters.com/articl... [reuters.com]

        Is this enough to claim young men in Dallas and New York are being discriminated, or "it is more complicated"/

        And even more complicated (the same source):

        The study suggested those gains might be based on the fact that women get married later in cities than in rural areas. Women marry the latest in New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @12:14PM (#55283789) Homepage Journal

      The truth is -- the truth is complicated. It is *true* that the ability to take your labor other places is a help in facing discrimination, but it is *also* true that some discriminatory attitudes are so widespread that your options for doing so may be limited.

      This is easy to understand when it's your own ox being gored; somewhat less so when other people are the one affected. Think of your own jobs; has management by in large been competent and rational? If so, your experience is unusual. If not, chances are you'll experience similar management if you change jobs. The most commonplace human level of achievement in any endeavor is mediocrity.

    • ...it does not matter. Put in the hard work. Keep your head down and solve problems. If you're not getting what you deserve, move elsewhere. Your skills are obviously, at least in your mind, in great demand so landing a better job will be easy.

      Ellison has a 100foot yacht. Needed the skimmed money to cover the 10 man crew salaries. Crew is used to maintain it.

  • Do they poll a group of men of the same grade and group as them?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It is a civil suit. So they can subpoena that information during the discovery phase. In civil court there is no "presumption of innocence" nor any protection against self incrimination. So they can go in with no evidence, force Oracle to divulge data, and then use that data against them. This is they way civil law has worked for centuries. If Oracle kept proper records, and did not discriminate, they should be able to get the lawsuit dismissed. Otherwise, they should seek a settlement. You never wan

      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        This will be interesting. Oracle has a LOT of lawyer power...

        But the numbers almost certainly show a disparity, and the usual counter arguments come into play (are they paid less because they do less hours, choose different roles even though they say its for equal roles, did they negotiate less?), but proving anything on either side on those fronts is really hard.

        • are they paid less because they do less hours

          If Oracle can document that, that is a reasonable defense.

          choose different roles even though they say its for equal roles

          If they are doing different work, then they should have different titles, and different job descriptions.

          did they negotiate less?

          No. That is not a legitimate defense. It is illegal to systematically pay men and women differently for doing the same work. Unless Oracle was hiring professional negotiators, "ability to negotiate" is not related to the job and is not a legal justification for pay disparity.

          • by Shados ( 741919 )

            If Oracle can document that, that is a reasonable defense

            Salaried employees. Unless managers are taking notes and keeping track of them at all time (which would make the average software engineer straight up quit), all they can see is output, and they wouldn't keep track unless it was cause for significant concern, just not give promotions (that part is probably documented)

            If they are doing different work, then they should have different titles, and different job descriptions.

            I'm really looking forward to everyone having a unique title for every possible permutation of engineering role: "Sorry, you're a Messaging Platform Software Engineer III. That doesn't pay as m

            • I can already see it: "We're offering you $X" "Well, I guess I'm gonna go work elsewhere" "Wait!!! We can talk about this...actually nevermind, we can't >."

              You can negotiate with individuals. You just need to make sure that the average salary for men and the average for women is the same if they are doing the same work.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward

                What. The. Fuck. Does. This. Even. Mean.

                So you negotiate with two dudes to keep them on board, so you, what, just give across the board raises to women ?

                And which demographics do we have to make sure to keep equal ? Is it just men/women ? Is it blacks/whites/latinos/asian?

                Or is it now chinese/japanese/vietnamese/australian/european whatever that we have to keep equal ? Why is it that the italians make 4% more at this company than the germans? Shit - I'm italian and german.

                Should we make sure that short

                • So you negotiate with two dudes to keep them on board, so you, what, just give across the board raises to women ?

                  Yes, that would be one solution.

                  Is it just men/women ? Is it blacks/whites/latinos/asian?

                  Yes, race as well as gender is a protected class.

                  Or is it now chinese/japanese/vietnamese/australian/european whatever that we have to keep equal ?

                  Yes, national origin is also a protected class.

                  Should we make sure that short and tall have "equal" pay (across averages, I guess?) - fat and skinny ? Ugly and good looking ?

                  Height and attractiveness are not protected classes, so you can discriminate there. Obesity may be protected under the ADA, but that only requires "accommodation", not equal pay.

                  I will continue to not worry about it.

                  If you are a CEO, work in HR, or even work as a manager, then you need to understand the law. If you are a leaf on the org chart, then ignorance is bliss.

                  • maybe...JUST maybe... the concept of "protected classes" has created this mess.

                    how about we break it down to the smallest minority - The individual???
              • You can negotiate with individuals. You just need to make sure that the average salary for men and the average for women is the same if they are doing the same work...

                ..or that you have clear, legal reasons for that pay disparity. It's perfectly legal to pay men more on average if you can demonstrate that the disparity comes from seniority, quantity of production, a merit system (that meets certain requirements), or (to quote the EPA) "a differential based on any other factor other than sex". Also please note that because it's the legal system, "any other factor" doesn't literally mean "any other factor".

                If you are a CEO, work in HR, or even work as a manager, then you need to understand the law.

                Yes, you do. But unless you're a lawyer who specializes in this are

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by fafalone ( 633739 )

            No. That is not a legitimate defense. It is illegal to systematically pay men and women differently for doing the same work. Unless Oracle was hiring professional negotiators, "ability to negotiate" is not related to the job and is not a legal justification for pay disparity.

            So basically, if a man goes to boss and says 'My value to this company is under-recognized and I want a raise', the boss must either deny it or then give everyone the same raise? If men are more likely to do that (and evidence suggests they are; facts don't stop being facts because they offend social justice), it would become systemic eventually. If women of equal merit asked for the same amounts at the same rate but were more likely to be denied, that would be discrimination, but that's a different scenari

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              So basically, if a man goes to boss and says 'My value to this company is under-recognized and I want a raise', the boss must either deny it or then give everyone the same raise?

              No, not "everyone". Only members of legally protected classes. You can't pay men and women systematically differently for the same work. You can't pay blacks and whites systematically differently for the same work.

              If men are more likely to do that (and evidence suggests they are; facts don't stop being facts because they offend social justice), it would become systemic eventually.

              Indeed, and that is illegal.

              If women of equal merit asked for the same amounts at the same rate but were more likely to be denied, that would be discrimination, but that's a different scenario.

              It is discrimination whether they "ask for it" or not. YOU CAN NOT PAY MEN AND WOMEN SYSTEMATICALLY DIFFERENTLY FOR THE SAME WORK. If you pay men more because they "ask for it" then you are breaking the law and you are going to get sued.

              HR needs to periodically rev

              • How about different men paid systematically different for the same work?

                • How about different men paid systematically different for the same work?

                  If they are members of a Protected Class [wikipedia.org] then it is illegal to pay them systematically differently for the same work. Protected classes include race, gender, religion, etc. So if you pay black men and white men systematically differently for the same work, that is illegal.

                  If the difference is not legal protected, then you can discriminate. For instance, you can pay tall men less than short men since height is not a legally protected class. You can refuse to hire smokers. You can fire someone for wearin

                • How about different men paid systematically different for the same work?

                  It's really pretty simple.

                  1. Are those people doing basically the same kinds of jobs?
                  2. Does that difference correlate with a protected class?

                  If the answer to 1 and 2 is "yes" then you're doing something illegal and need to sort your shit out. The law doesn't care for your "but what if" scenarios or the reasons you're doing it, or how you got there. All it cares about is those two question.

                  You now have enough information to answer your

                  • Looks like I'm getting modbommed!

                    A hint to the mods: -1 is not for "I don't like the law you've just correctly explained to me".

                  • It's really pretty simple. ... If the answer to 1 and 2 is "yes" then you're doing something illegal and need to sort your shit out.

                    It's wasn't that simple even when the EPA was passed. Please see the list in Section 3(d)(1). [eeoc.gov]

                    A hint to the mods: -1 is not for "I don't like the law you've just correctly explained to me".

                    You're over-simplifying a complex area of the legal system and a half-century of case law down to a single "if" statement. You also seem to think that the legal system blindly believes that correlation is causation. Either one of those would justify the down-modding.

                • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                  Depends on the reason for them being paid different amounts. If it's age it could be problem. If it's just that one is less qualified then maybe not, legally speaking.

              • No, not "everyone". Only members of legally protected classes. You can't pay men and women systematically differently for the same work. You can't pay blacks and whites systematically differently for the same work.

                It actually would be "everyone" unless men and women asked for and were given raises at the same rate. But since they're not, you're basically claiming nobody is allowed to ask for a raise unless it's for everyone (you can't systematically pay men less either). The rest of your comment seems to represent a misunderstanding of the law. A disparity existing in and of itself is *not* illegal. Look at hiring discrimination: it's illegal to discriminate based on gender or color. But there's numerous jobs that a

        • by mark-t ( 151149 )

          But the numbers almost certainly show a disparity

          Two words:

          Confirmation bias.

  • Caution! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Hiring women can be dangerous to your company's health!

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Not hiring women can be dangerous to your company's health.

      If your company had very few female employees people are going to ask why, possibly in court. If you have an actual policy of not hiring women you are in real trouble.

  • O.R.A.C.L.E. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 29, 2017 @08:31PM (#55281009)

    Come on girl, you knew what you where signing on for, ORACLE is as advertised,

    One Raging Asshole Called Larry Ellison

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Check out the percentage of the company that identifies as female: 29% [oracle.com]

    If they were paid less, there would be a financial incentive to employ more of them.

    • Or it just speaks to a culture of discriminatory hiring practices?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Axiom: the free market is perfect.

      Therefore the free market prevents pay discrimination!

      The problem with your conclusion is it's predicated on the perfection of the free market. Since the free market is demonstrably not perfect it does not follow that the free market will correct all pricing disparities.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 29, 2017 @08:41PM (#55281051)

    This is the time for the American Anti-SJWs to shine. Christina Hoff-Summers, her proxies like Ben Shapiro and Milo and her elders like Tomas Sowell, all claim that there is no discrimination against women and doing the the math right shows it.

    There are, of course, other considerations and implications from this lawsuit. The idea that employee A has to get what employee B gets, or even in the ball-park of what B gets is a basic communist, ideological, evil. AFAIK americans never stay at their jobs if they find a better paying spot. So claiming that it is a "class" thing will be hard to prove. Another implication is the basic (and peculiar) american ideological concept called "A deal is a deal". If you freely sign a contract, thus striking a deal, going back and asking for more through courts is trying to chip away at the original concept. Your whole country is based on the idea that a deal is a deal. Sure damage can be done, proven and compensated for by courts but chip enough foundation away and it's pretty much legal chaos.

    This will be very entertaining, Best of luck to all involved :-)

    • Jobs don't have anything to do with Communism. Communism is government control of the means of production. It has nothing to do with equality of salary. Who told you it did? Your whole ideology is based on a fallacy.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They also want Oracle to guarantee they won't pay women less than men for similar work in the future.

    Why not a guarantee Oracle will pay women and men the same instead of a mere guarantee that women wont be paid less than men?

    Why is an outcome where women are being paid more than men an acceptable outcome for people "suing for equality".

    • The problem with such guarantees is that you can't guarantee anything - if a woman takes a year long maternity break, and her equal-job male coworker does not, the male coworker ends up being a year ahead on advancement, experience etc, so any equal-pay guarantee made on any basis other than raw time-with-company will end up with women who choose to bear children being paid less.

      Is that fair? Is anything that attempts to modify that "discrimination" fair?

      That's the debate being had in some areas.

  • by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:16PM (#55281203)

    The lawyers are going to clear a quarter billion, and each of the employees is going to get a coupon for 25% off their next database.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As a small business owner I am afraid of hiring women because I am afraid they will perceive some non existent injustice and drag my ass into court

    I did not always feel this way

  • by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @09:46PM (#55281331)

    "Former Female Oracle Employees Sue Company"

    Former Female? What were they before? Perhaps you might mean "Female Former Oracle Employees Sue Company."

  • My wife is currently taking a database class using Oracle and apparently Oracle-supplied sample data.

    The sample dataset was employee records, including salaries. Judging by the employee names there were two male and one female programmers. The males were paid substantially more than the female.

  • I've worked with both a Rong and a Sophie. Rong was a developer who was very pretty (aside from her teeth) and had her masters. She was responsible for the worst bug our product ever had (reset configuration to defaults). I remember the flabbergasted expression from another developer who found the source of the bug and ranted about how stupid her coding was. Sophie didn't fuck up, but according to her former boss, she was "useless" and didn't have a clue.

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