The Department of Labor (DOL) has revised a lawsuit against Oracle it filed in 2017 to now claim that the tech company underpaid its employees by some $400 million over a four-year period, while at the same time discriminating against females and Asians (who make up the bulk of its workforce). The department began investigating Oracle in 2014.
In its compliant DOL alleges that Oracle created two “potential pathways” for discrimination: First, it based employee’s initial pay rates on prior salary; second, it channeled these employees into less lucrative career paths.
Oracle, DOL investigators found, largely hires Asian visa-holders, explaining:”This preference for a workforce that is dependent on Oracle for authorization to work in the United States lends itself to suppression of that workforce’s wages.”
The tech giant also destroyed personnel records as its investigators moved forward in discovery process, DOL claims.
Oracle receives more than $100 million a year from federal government contracts.
“As a federal contractor, Oracle is prohibited from engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or national origin and is required to take affirmative action to ensure that equal employment opportunity is provided to applicants and employees in all aspects of employment,” the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) said. “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.”
Oracle, which on Jan. 16 lost its bid to have the lawsuit tossed, issued a statement through a spokesperson in rebuttal: “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.”