Open World? More like closed world: Women sue Oracle for 'paying them less' than blokes

Class-action sueball alleges discrimination

An angry woman steaming from the ears

OpenWorld Oracle is being sued by some of its former women staffers who claim they were deliberately and unfairly paid less than their male colleagues.

The class-action lawsuit [PDF] filed in the San Mateo County state court of California accused the Redwood City enterprise software giant of gender discrimination.

"At all relevant times, Oracle has known or should have known of this pay disparity between its female and male employees, yet Oracle has taken no action to equalize men and women’s pay for substantially equal or similar work," the suit claimed.

"Oracle’s failure to pay female employees the same wage rates paid to male employees for substantially equal or similar work has been and is willful."

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The three named plaintiffs in the case – Xian Murray, Sophy Wang, and Rong Jewett – were employed by the database giant as project lead, principal application engineer, and application engineer, respectively. In those roles, the women say they were paid less than their male counterparts.

"Oracle’s policies and/or practices of paying female employees less than male employees for substantially equal or similar work performed and of failing to timely pay female employees who are discharged or who quit all wages earned and due constitute business practices because Oracle’s acts and omissions as alleged herein have been done repeatedly over a significant period of time, and in a systematic manner, to the detriment of Plaintiffs and Class members," the suit read.

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They are now suing on behalf of all women who work for Oracle in "information technology, product development, and support" jobs in the state of California, seeking relief for five alleged violations of California's labor code.

Oracle said it had no comment on the matter.

The latest version of the legal complaint was submitted in late August, and came to light this week as Oracle gathered employees and customers in San Francisco for its annual Open World conference. Last night, CTO and founder Larry Ellison talked up a new "automated" database system that would do away entirely with the need for human administrators, doing away entirely with the need to decide who to pay. ®

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