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Female Employees at Oracle Make Significant Progress on Equal Pay Lawsuit

Three female employees at Oracle Corp. scored a major victory in court, gaining the right to represent thousands of others in a gender-discrimination lawsuit over pay, a legal milestone that has eluded women at other tech titans.

A California state judge certified the class action Thursday, allowing the lawsuit to advance on behalf of more than 4,000 women who claim the database giant pays men more for doing the same job.

“Whether the jobs at issue in this case are substantially equal or similar is a question of fact for a jury,” California Superior Court Judge V. Raymond Swope in Redwood City said in the 25-page ruling, rejecting Oracle’s claim that each is an individual case because people in the same job code don’t perform substantially similar work.

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The ruling gives the women critical leverage in pursuing the case under the state’s Equal Pay Act.

“This case will help ensure that women are paid fairly at Oracle, and we hope, throughout the tech industry,” Jim Finberg, a lawyer representing the women, said in an email.

Women at technology companies who have turned to the courts to transform their pay and treatment in the workplace have faced difficulty gaining traction, just like their female counterparts in more traditional industries, from retail to finance. The U.S. Supreme Court set a high bar in its 2011 decision that blocked 1.5 million female workers at Walmart Inc. from pursuing their discrimination claims as a group.

Source: Bloomberg

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