Workers in California and elsewhere have long seen Google as an innovative company and a great place to work. However, this can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to discrimination lawsuits. If a company has a good reputation, it is unlikely to be found liable in such a case. On the other hand, if Google is found liable, the organization could be subject to severe consequences.
Prestigious companies may suffer greater punishments because they have more to lose if a hostile workplace culture is discovered. Furthermore, people don’t like it when companies are hypocritical about their values. This can lead to a backlash from investors, the media and other parties. Currently, Google faces a lawsuit claiming that it discriminates against white males who are conservative. It faces another lawsuit claiming that women are paid less than men.
While the two cases deal with different issues, research indicates that the type of discrimination case doesn’t matter when it comes to the halo effect and halo tax. Therefore, Google could risk inciting a backlash if it discovered that it doesn’t value all of its employees equally. This is because it may reveal that the company may not be the great place to work that people perceive it to be. Discriminating based on gender or political views may also not be seen as innovative.
If a company has violated state or federal employment law, it may be liable for paying damages. A worker may be entitled to compensation for back pay and the value of any benefits lost because of wrongful termination or an inability to advance caused by discrimination. Generally, employers are not allowed to discriminate against workers based on their gender, race or political views when making employment decisions.