Google’s Patriarchy and Underlying Politics

Google Inc. is a federal contractor. It allows the federal government in the United States to conduct audit based on the Department of Labor’s ‘Equal Employment Opportunity’ under the jurisprudence of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). As a federal contractor, Google Inc. is on contract with the United States Government and undertakes Digital Advertising campaigns for the Department of Labor. Since 2014, Google Inc. has earned $600,000 from the aforementioned contract, as reported by CBS News on 5th January 2017. It has also been stated that $ 600,000 is a small amount for Google Inc. considering that its revenue since the year 2014 has exceeded $ 130 billion.

As part of the compliance policy of OFCCP, eliminating discrimination is the primary action Google is expected to take. The United States Labor Department filed a lawsuit against Google for gender discrimination in the payroll of its employees. CBS News reported that high paid technical job at Google are given mostly to White and Asian men. The Labor Department is in the process of investigation and the lawsuit is also underway. In its defense, Google has declared, “We’re very committed to our affirmative action obligations, and to improving the diversity of our workforce, and have been very vocal about the importance of these issues.” If the Labor Department wins the lawsuit against Google, the latter’s contract with the former will be annulled and it will face a ban for future contracts. CBS News is of the opinion that Google will not be adversely impacted by the financial hit in the event of contract termination between Department of Labor and itself.

While the gender discrimination was discovered to have been commonly inflicted upon employees who are working out of the Google headquarters in San Fransisco; the Labor Department reported that this malpractice is rampant in the organization at the global level. “We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce,” Janette Wipper, the Department of Labor Regional Director, testified in court in San Francisco on Friday, as reported by The Guardian on 7th April 2017.

NBS News published an article on 3rd April 2017 that speculates the United States government’s ideological shift (for the worse). Erstwhile President Barrack Obama had implemented the Executive Order ‘Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces’ to combat discrimination and exploitation of women at work. It has been reported that Donald Trump the incumbent President, has revoked the Executive Order. This in turn, has made it easy for corporate houses to mask crucial details that can reveal injustice that is rampant in the workforce. Additionally, the Trump Government has reportedly awarded Federal Contracts to those that have been cited as ethical violators by the Department of Labor. The aforementioned statement needs to be taken with the knowledge that the Department of Labor is one of the ancillary bodies of the government. In this case, it is reigned over by Trump.

If there is a grain of truth in the fact that Google Inc. has been discriminating against workers based on sex and race; then one needs to analyze the same in the context of the fact that the prosecutor is Department of Labor to whom Google has been a Federal Contractor. It also needs to be kept in mind that Department of Labor is a government body that is managed by Trump who has been reported to revoke an important Executive Order.

There is more than meets the eye. The discrimination is gargantuan and churning at level beyond Google. The complex nature of affiliate networking makes it difficult to pin the institution responsible for propagating unethical code of conduct.