Google will have to pay over $1 million to an executive who alleged the company discriminated against her based on her gender and later retaliated when she spoke up about it. Ulku Rowe, a Google Cloud engineering director, accused the company of hiring her at a lower level, lower paid position than men with less experience who were hired for similar roles at the same time, according to Bloomberg Law. She also claimed she was passed over for a promotion in favor of a less qualified male colleague.
A New York jury on Friday decided that Google did commit gender-based discrimination, and now owes Rowe a combined $1.15 million for punitive damages and the pain and suffering it caused. Rowe had 23 years of experience when she started at Google in 2017, and the lawsuit claims she was lowballed at hiring to place her at a level that paid significantly less than what men were being offered.
It comes nearly five years after some 20,000 Google employees organized a walkout to demand changes around the company’s handling of sexual misconduct and discrimination. While the company pledged to do better on sexual harassment, its response still left a lot to be desired on the topics of bias. According to Bloomberg Law, the Rowe lawsuit is the first such case Google has faced since the protests.