NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Oracle, claiming that the tech giant has a “systemic practice” of paying white male workers more than their non-white and female counterparts with the same job titles.
The suit says that the company favors Asian workers in its recruiting and hiring practices for product development and other technical roles, which resulted in hiring discrimination against non-Asian applicants.
In a statement, Oracle Corp. on Wednesday called the suit “politically motivated, based on false allegations and wholly without merit.”
The Labor Department said the lawsuit is the result of a review of Oracle’s equal employment opportunity practices at its headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.. According the suit, Oracle has refused to comply with the agency’s “routine requests” for employment data and records.
“As a federal contractor, Oracle is prohibited from engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin and is required to take affirmative action to ensure that equal employment opportunity is provided to applicants and employees in all aspects of employment,” the Labor Department said.
Earlier this month, the Labor Department also sued Google, saying the company has refused to provide the department with employee compensation records and other information as part of an audit designed to ensure it isn’t discriminating against workers based on gender or race.
Oracle, Google and other technology companies have made public commitments to improving gender and racial diversity in recent years. But change has been slow to come, and the companies continue to be dominated by white (and sometimes Asian) men, especially in technical and leadership positions.