Google sued by US government for not sharing employee salaries

If it doesn’t comply, the government could cut contracts with the company.

The U.S Department of Labor is suing Google after the company declined to share employment data with the government. In its complaint, the department claims that Google refused to reveal employee salaries and benefits to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) during a routine anti-discrimination audit. The OFCCP is now seeking a court order to force the tech giant to comply.

With Google systems helping government departments, the company is technically a federal contractor. This means the tech firm legally has to share compliance data in order to prove it operates in accordance with equal employment laws. Google, however, claims that sharing such information is a breach of privacy and could "reveal confidential data".

With the tech company claiming to have shared "hundreds of thousands" of other reports with the government, its reluctance to let the OFCCP see its employee's salaries is surprising. However, Google's record regarding employee diversity and equal opportunities isn't exactly stellar.

A recent employment audit also revealed troubling information about tech company Palantir, which was accused of using an algorithm that discriminated against Asian applicants.

If Google continues to refuse to cooperate, the OFCCB has threatened to ask the court to cancel the company's current government contracts and prevent it from signing any new ones.