A landmark discrimination lawsuit against a major technology company could have consequences for employers in Florida and across the country. According to the suit, tech giant Oracle has employed policies so discriminatory that it led to more than $400 million in lost wages for black, Asian, and female employees over a period of approximately four years.
The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Department of Labor, which had conducted an investigation into the wage practices at Oracle that concluded in 2014. The lawsuit, first filed in 2017, stems from the conclusions drawn by the investigation. According to the DOL, there were a number of discriminatory practices employed by Oracle that led to unfair wages for black, Asian, and female employees.
The agency alleges that the college and university recruiting practices of Oracle lead to wage discrimination. The complaint avers that Oracle hires an unusually low number of black and female workers, but hires an unusually high number of Asian employees. The DOL points to the Asian employment rate as potentially being discriminatory in that many of them are foreign-born and require work visas to remain in the United States. The lawsuit alleges that because these workers are reliant on Oracle to stay in the country, they are susceptible to being taken advantage of with low wages.
Oracle is also alleged to discriminate by basing their pay rates on an employee's prior salary. According to the Department of Labor, this can have a discriminatory effect. Through the lawsuit, the Department is seeking to revoke all contracts between Oracle and the federal government. These contracts are believed to be worth more than $100 million per year to Oracle. While the work of the Department of Labor is important, it should be noted that workplace discrimination is still prevalent. People who are employed in the technology sector that believes that they been discriminated against may benefit from discussing their concerns with an attorney.