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Oracle, other tech companies face allegations of discrimination

Some California tech employees may be aware that their industry has been plagued with allegations of workplace discrimination. A number of companies, including Microsoft, Uber, Google and Spotify, have faced complaints about discrimination and harassment. While companies are making efforts to address these complaints, a 2018 survey by an anonymous workplace app, Blind, found that nearly three-quarters of tech workers said they did not trust human resources.

The U.S. Department of Labor began an investigation into Oracle's employment practices in 2014, and in 2017, it filed a lawsuit. In an updated complaint, the DOL says that over four years, female, Asian and black employees lost $400 million in wages due to the company's discriminatory practices. Oracle has also been accused of favoring Asian visa holders in its hiring practices. Since these employees are dependent on the company to keep their work visas, Oracle is allegedly able to keep their wages depressed. Oracle is also accused of keeping salaries down by basing pay on the person's previous salary.

Some tech companies are making an effort to investigate and correct any existing pay disparities. For example, following an equal pay assessment, the software company Salesforce spent $3 million correcting disparities. In 2017, Adobe also said it had corrected for disparities in pay based on race and gender.

An employee who believes they are facing workplace discrimination in the form of unequal pay because of gender, race, nationality, disability or other factors may want to consult an attorney to discuss their rights. Legal counsel may be able to advise how to address the situation within the company and what to do next if the company is not responsive. If multiple employees are affected by the issue, it could eventually lead to a class-action lawsuit.

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