US Department of Labor files employee pay discrimination suit vs Oracle

Oracle said the lawsuit is politically motivated. The Department of Labor noted that government contracts could be at stake.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

The US Department of Labor (DOL) said it has filed a lawsuit against Oracle, alleging pay discrimination practices against female, African American, and Asian employees.

In addition, the DOL alleges that Oracle had a "systemic practice of favoring Asian workers in its recruiting and hiring practices for product development and other technical roles."

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said:

"The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit. Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit."

The Department of Labor said that it reviewed Oracle's equal employment opportunity practices starting in 2014. Oracle also didn't reply to the agency's routine requests.

According to the DOL (complaint):

"Oracle refused to provide prior-year compensation data for all employees, complete hiring data for certain business lines, and employee complaints of discrimination. OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) attempted for almost a year to resolve Oracle's alleged discrimination violations before filing the suit."

For Oracle, the lawsuit could turn out to be costly. The DOL noted that Oracle has a bevy of government contracts that could be at risk. "Oracle has received hundreds of millions in federal government contracts. If Oracle fails to provide relief as ordered in the lawsuit, OFCCP requests that all its government contracts be canceled and that it be debarred from entering into future federal contracts," said the DOL.

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