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Google refuses to hand over salary data to the U.S. government

The Labor Department has alleged the company is underpaying women.

Google's Larry Page Holds Media Event In New York City Justin Sullivan / Getty

Google, whose mission is to organize the world’s information, is still refusing to hand over salary information requested by the U.S. Department of Labor, saying that it would cost too much to retrieve the data.

The labor department is suing Google for salary records, which it says it is legally entitled to on grounds Google is a government contractor. The agency alleged last month it had found “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.”

The company said in court Friday in San Francisco that it would take 500 hours and $100,000 to fulfill the agency’s request, the Guardian reported.

Google said later in a statement that the requests from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a section of the Labor Department, were “overbroad in scope or reveal confidential data.”

“These requests include thousands of employees’ private contact information which we safeguard rigorously,” a Google spokesperson said.

Here is Google’s complete statement:

“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. As a federal contractor, we’re familiar with our obligations and have worked collaboratively with the OFCCP. We’ve worked hard to comply with the OFCCP’s current audit and have provided hundreds of thousands of records over the last year, including those related to compensation. However, the handful of OFCCP requests that are the subject of the complaint are overbroad in scope, or reveal confidential data, and we've made this clear to the OFCCP, to no avail. These requests include thousands of employees’ private contact information which we safeguard rigorously. We hope to continue working with OFCCP to resolve this matter.”

Google has said its own analysis of its data shows no gender pay gap, and says its pay model prevents such discrimination. Not all former employees agree this is the case.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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