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Department of Labor sues Oracle over pay discrimination

Oracle says the lawsuit is politically motivated. The Department of Labor notes that government contracts could be at stake.

Oracle headquarters
The US Department of Labor has filed an employee pay discrimination suit against Oracle.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The US Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Oracle alleging pay discrimination practices against female, African American and Asian employees.

In addition, the department alleges that Oracle had a "systemic practice of favoring Asian workers in its recruiting and hiring practices for product development and other technical roles."

Oracle spokeswoman 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. Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit.

The Department of Labor said it reviewed Oracle's equal employment opportunity practices starting in 2014. Oracle also didn't reply to the department's routine requests.

According to the Department of Labor (complaint):

Oracle refused to provide prior-year compensation data for all employees, complete hiring data for certain business lines, and employee complaints of discrimination. OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) attempted for almost a year to resolve Oracle's alleged discrimination violations before filing the suit.

For Oracle, the lawsuit could turn out to be costly. The Department of Labor noted that Oracle has a bevy of government contracts that could be at risk.

"Oracle has received hundreds of millions in federal government contracts," said the Department of Labor. "If Oracle fails to provide relief as ordered in the lawsuit, OFCCP requests that all its government contracts be canceled and that it be debarred from entering into future federal contracts."

This story originally posted as "U.S. Department of Labor files employee pay discrimination suit vs. Oracle" on ZDNet.

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