The U.S. Department of Labor is accusing Oracle of discriminatory wage practices that have resulted in losses of more than $400 million for female, black and Asian employees, according to a federal filing Tuesday.
The complaint comes more than two years after the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance originally filed a suit against Oracle for paying men more than women and people of color. The legal proceedings were halted in October 2017 to allow the two sides to mediate.
Now, the Department of Labor is restating the accusations, going so far as to accuse Oracle of destroying evidence in the ongoing case.
The Department of Labor accused Oracle of using two main methods for discrimination. First, it claimed Oracle relied on prior salary when setting initial pay. And second, it accused Oracle of “channeling” female, black and Asian employees into lower-paid careers at the company.
Dorian Daley, Oracle executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement that Oracle is “in compliance” with its regulatory obligations and is “committed to equality.”
“This meritless lawsuit is based on false allegations and a seriously flawed process within the OFCCP that relies on cherry picked statistics rather than reality,” Daley said. “We fiercely disagree with the spurious claims and will continue in the process to prove them false.”
The complaint also accuses Oracle of implementing discriminatory college and university hiring practices, strongly preferring Asian applicants. Out of the roughly 500 college and university hires Oracle made between 2013 and 2016, approximately 90 percent were Asian. Of the Asian employees, the Department of Labor claims that Oracle prefers to hire those who hold visas – a practice that leads to lower wages.
“This preference for a workforce that is dependent on Oracle for authorization of work in the United States lends itself to suppression of that workforce’s wages,” the complaint reads.
Moreover, the complaint accuses Oracle of not only failing to produce key documents and data, but adds that it “destroyed records related to its hiring process as the case was ongoing.”
Follow USA TODAY intern Ben Tobin on Twitter: @TobinBen