Doug Lipsky Talks To Bloomberg News About Google Gender Bias Verdict

Nov 20, 2023

New York City, New York – Doug Lipsky, founding partner at Lipsky Lowe LLP, recently shared his insights with Bloomberg Law regarding a recent gender bias case that has captured the attention of the legal community. In Rowe v. Google, a New York federal jury ordered Google LLC to pay $1.15 million in damages to resolve a former female executive’s gender bias claims.

The Backdrop

Ulku Rowe, an executive in Google’s cloud unit, made history by becoming the first individual to sue the tech giant for pay discrimination following the 2018 employee walkouts that shed light on issues of sexual misconduct and pay inequality within the company. These protests played a pivotal role in Google discontinuing its mandatory arbitration policy for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.

Doug Lipsky offered Bloomberg Law his perspective on the implications of the jury’s decision. He emphasized “the importance of employers conducting a pay equity audit to ensure they are paying men and women the same amount for the same job because, when a disparity exists, employers are opening themselves to significant liability.”

Lipksy encouraged employers to eliminate gender-based disparities while ensuring that legitimate, nondiscriminatory business reasons are in place for differential compensation among similarly situated employees.

The Rowe Verdict

The case exemplifies the challenges faced by workers alleging sex-based wage discrimination claims, especially when their job roles do not have direct male counterparts for comparison. The burden of proof can be particularly onerous for plaintiffs without access to union contracts and salary data for making comparisons.

The jury found that Google had treated Ulku Rowe differently from her colleagues due to her gender and that it had retaliated against her when she raised concerns. Lipsky told Bloomberg, “Juries are becoming increasingly sophisticated in identifying discriminatory practices and rejecting employer’s after-the-fact explanations.”

While Google disputed the jury’s decision, the significance of this verdict could potentially encourage more workers to pursue similar claims in the future. Doug’s insights underscore the importance of addressing gender bias in the workplace. At Lipsky Lowe, LLP, we remain committed to advocating for fairness and justice in employment practices.

With over 40 years of experience focused exclusively on employment law, Lipsky Lowe LLP, a premier NYC employment law firm, is the strength you need in your corner – no matter the employment issue. Our NYC employment attorneys have extensive experience litigating all areas of employment law, negotiating settlements, drafting employment contracts, conducting prompt and effective investigations, and defending actions, as well as protecting employees from discrimination, unfair wage and hour practices, and wrongful termination.

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