HP Enterprise Women Make Headway in Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit
(Bloomberg) -- Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. isn’t poised to win a quick escape from a class-action lawsuit accusing it of paying female employees less than their male counterparts.
A California state court judge said in a tentative ruling Thursday that the case can proceed even though the women who sued have yet to meet a legal requirement to identify specific instances of men making more for the same work.
HPE is one of several tech giants facing lawsuits over alleged gender bias. Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are fighting similar claims.
“HPE is committed to ensuring we compensate our employees fairly, and we take any concerns raised by our employees seriously and investigate them fully,” an HPE spokesman said in a statement. “We dispute these claims and will vigorously make our case in court.”
The case against HPE was filed by two former female employees. One, identified only as R. Ross, said she had access to internal company documents that included salary information. She said the documents revealed that the base pay of male employees exceeded that of women, even when the women had more extensive work experience at the company.
The other plaintiff, C. Rogus, said she had information that showed that male project managers at the company earned 14.27 % more than she did.
HPE’s lawyers argued that the suit should be thrown out because the women failed to identity a specific male “comparator.”
But Santa Clara County Superior Judge Brian Walsh said that’s not required in the early stage of the case. He said the issue will be more thoroughly examined when the plaintiffs seek approval for class-action status -- a milestone that women suing other tech companies so far haven’t reached.
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