A Silicon Valley tech firm is in danger of losing federal contracts worth millions of dollars due to allegations of compensation discrimination against women, Asians, and African Americans.
The Department of Labor under President Obama filed a lawsuit against tech giant Oracle on Wednesday, two days before the outgoing POTUS leaves office, reported Vice.
The suit, which alleges the firm of employment discrimination, stated that Oracle “has a systemic practice of paying Caucasian male workers more than their counterparts in the same job title.”
With around 130,000 employees and $160 billion in stock market value, Oracle is one of the biggest tech firms in Silicon Valley today. Such case could compromise millions of dollars worth of contracts the software firm currently has with the U.S. government.
The agency’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that Oracle “has a systemic practice of paying Caucasian male workers more than their counterparts in the same job title,” based on a two-year investigation.
The complaint even mentioned that Oracle “had multiple contracts with the federal government totaling millions of dollars a year” at the time the investigation was being conducted.
It further alleges that the firm discriminated against non-Asian applicants for “product development and other technical roles.”
Oracle also reportedly “refused” to provide important information such as the prior-year’s compensation data for all employees and did not say if the company reviewed how the workers were compensated.
According to the Labor Department, the refusal violates federal pay equity rules for government contractors. The agency is now recommending cancellation of the firm’s contracts with the government.
In a press release, OFCCP Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd said: “Federal contractors are required to comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws. We filed this lawsuit to enforce those requirements.”
Incidentally, the company’s co-CEO, Safra Catz, is now part of the transition team for incoming POTUS Donald Trump.
Oracle denied the allegations in a statement. Vice President of Corporate Communication Deborah Hellinger said:
“The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit. Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.”