The company said it conducts “rigorous analyses” that its pay practices are gender-blind and found “no gender pay gap” in 52 major job categories it analyzed last year. Google added that analysts who calculate suggested pay don’t have access to employees’ gender data.
Google also said that beyond gender pay equity, the company recently expanded the analysis to cover race in the U.S. as well.
Google responded in a blog post Tuesday that the department’s assertion “came without any supporting data or methodology.” The company said it had already produced hundreds of thousands of documents in response to 18 separate requests, and the government is seeking thousands more, including contact details of employees.
The department had no comment, saying the case is ongoing.
The difference between Google’s and the Labor Department’s claims might come down to how each side defines pay discrimination, Tim Worstall, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, wrote in a recent post for Forbes.
“Google is using a strict definition of ‘same job’ to find no gender pay gap. The Department of Labor is using a looser definition of ‘similar job’ to find that there is one,” he wrote. “Who you think is right here is entirely up to you but that’s where the disagreement is.”