back to article Oracle finally responds to wage discrimination claims… by suing US Department of Labor

Oracle has finally addressed long standing accusations that it discriminates against and underpays women and minorities by... suing the government department that has repeatedly flagged the issue, claiming it has no authority over Larry and his boys. In a lawsuit [PDF] filed Wednesday in a Washington DC district court, Big Red …

  1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Oracle

    ... just being Oracle, right?

    ... actually, on second thought ...

    ... no, cannot write what I really think and put my name under.

    1. Psmo Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: Oracle

      Your name's over.

      Just saying.... yeah, I know don't push

  2. IGotOut

    This is NOT the Oracle way.

    They would of march up to the department door and demanded a gizzilion Dollars because you *May* be using last week's obscure licencing method and not next week's even more obscure method.

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    The Oracle

    From Wikipedia: "An oracle is a person or agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods"

    I wonder if they can see the slap down coming?

    That's in addition to the lack of wise or insightful counseling and godly inspiration.

    1. John Geek

      Re: The Oracle

      Chris G wrote, From Wikipedia: "An oracle is a person or agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods"

      It makes more sense when you consider that Larry thinks he IS God.

  4. el kabong Silver badge

    So relieved to learn we have good people ready to fight for "our constitutional structure"

    Oracle's lawyers will not just fight for "our constitutional structure"(oracle's own words) I'm sure they be will be absolutely ruthless doing it as is usual with oracle's lawyers. They will fight for "our constitutional structure" to the finish and beyond, when the fight is over they will still be fighting. And then some.

    "our constitutional structure" is in good hands, we're safe!

    "our constitutional structure"(

    1. Jim Mitchell
      Holmes

      Re: So relieved to learn we have good people ready to fight for "our constitutional structure"

      Oracle, for better or worse, has a point about the "constitutional structure" of the Federal government as it exists now. Congress is supposed to enact laws and the executive branch carry them out. With Congress passing a law that delegates the details to the executive branch to create (ie "regulations"), some see this as un-Constitutional. It is an interesting point, and if correct, we're living in suddenly a different world. Every regulation in the past 85 years gets tossed. Congress would have to figure out all the details, and agree on them, itself. Since the current elected body can barely agree what day it is, this might be a problem for future functional legislation that requires subject matter knowledge, skill, and attention to the details.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: So relieved to learn we have good people ready to fight for "our constitutional structure"

        The issue with the administrative state is not that it exists, it always has existed from day one. But whether America's Native Criminal Class has given them too much leeway with some of the very broad laws that have been passed. But this is not the fundamental issue here. The issue is Leisure Suit Larry and His Minions are unethical scum who are generally skirting the edge of the law and often crossover into illegal activities. The basic law is very clear, people with in the same jobs with similar experience should be paid the same. What the Minions have been accused of is not even trying to obey either the spirit or letter of the law.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: So relieved to learn we have good people ready to fight for "our constitutional structure"

          But they've picked this fight at an interesting time. I can see the Trump administration frowning on hiring so many Asians - but not as harshly as it would frown on a federal agency endangering corporate profits in the name of women and minorities.

          All it would take is one sympathetic segment on Fox, one tweet, and the dept would be ordered to drop the case. It'll be interesting to see whether that happens.

          (In case you're wondering, Oracle prudently gives generously to both parties - more to (D) than (R), but enough to get a hearing from either.)

      2. Any other name

        Re: So relieved to learn we have good people ready to fight for "our constitutional structure"

        Oracle, for better or worse, has a point about the "constitutional structure" of the Federal government as it exists now. Congress is supposed to enact laws and the executive branch carry them out.

        Taken to the extreme, that point of view would mean that the Highway Act would have needed to specify the route and the construction budget of each federal route built using the money it allocated; the Affordable Care Act would have needed to set out the design for the enrollment website; and the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act should have directly legislated the specific permissible emission levels and vehicle classes.

        It is possible that this is what the fathers of the constitution have intended all along, but it still sounds ridiculous.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ok...ok...

    I'm going to get ripped apart for this but...

    How do we know the non ethnic males aren't worth more than the underpaid females / minorities.

    I'm all for equal pay, but only when it isn't arbitrary.

    #justsayin

    I don't want to sound like a twat, but doesn't arbitrary equal valuation undermine certain groups?

    I.e. if you know you have to more to get potentially less, wouldn't it be easier to not hire those that that might deliver less in the first place?

    I.e. like asking if a woman is planning to start a family?

    It's illegal to ask, but not illegal to just avoid hiring them.

    Seems counter productive.

    1. ST Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Ok...ok...

      > I don't want to sound like a twat, but [ ... ]

      Why do you sound like a twat, then?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ok...ok...

        Because a twat sees a twat.

        Meritocracy gets results.

        Identity Politics downs ships.

        Has everyone forgotten the result at Google?

        They found out Males were being paid less in the end?

        1. Richocet

          Re: Ok...ok...

          Great argument.

          You have just conclusively proven that ideology is the best way to resolve difficult/important questions.

          Think of all the time we can save gathering facts and analysing them. A new golden age of productivity is upon us.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ok...ok...

          This.

    2. D. Evans

      Re: Ok...ok...

      Err, did you read the article. The accounted for many factors.

      You didn't so you not only sound like a twat but you prove, to me, that you are in fact a pure stupit-c*|\|t.

      1. Richocet

        Re: Ok...ok...

        ..such as the professor specialising in employment who analysed the situation and concluded that the scenario was a one in a billion chance?

        No matter how overwhelming the facts, analysis etc, there are still people who believe that white men are automatically better at <insert lucrative career here>.

        1. oldfartuk

          Re: Ok...ok...

          For comparison... there was a famous case of injustice in the UK when three women were jailed for supposedly killing their babies. One lady had two dead babies in two years, and when it was suggested all these deaths could be attributed Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Professor Roy Meadows, and top Gynecologist declared it was a one in four billion chance that was so, and on the mathematical expertise of in fact a baby doctor, three women were jailed, and it took several years, and ultimately the intervention of the Royal Society of Statisticians (who completely and comprehensively dismantled the way Meadows had arrived at his statistics) before the three poor women were released and pardoned. The lesson here is that 39% of statistics are made up by dangerous idiots.

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Ok...ok...

            I am sorry, but you seem to have switched the digits, it is 93%. And the majority of the remainder is made up by other (not so dangerous) idiots.

    3. CliveS
      FAIL

      Re: Ok...ok...

      "I'm going to get ripped apart for this but..."

      You are going to, so why continue?

      "I don't want to sound like a twat"

      Oh, I don't think you're being hard enough on yourself, you're going beyond mere twat-like behaviour. Try reading the article and understand the investigation and analysis done by third parties. Nothing arbitrary about it. One can but hope that you're never in a position to define hiring policy.

    4. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Ok...ok...

      I think very few of us writing these comments have actually spent time at a US technology company so we can all jump to (virtuous) conclusions. The awkward fact of life is that most higher paid developer jobs are going to be to men, something that will tip the averages. The reason is straightforward -- until relatively recently certain groups -- women, hispanics, african-americans -- were absent from the hiring pool. This means the senior developers are likely to be 'white males' because that was who was working in the company 10-20 years or more ago. The notion of 'non-white' is only important to middle class aspirants, not those firmly established in that class. What this means is essentially once a person has made it then they tend to think of themselves primarily as Americans rather than a minority group.

      Now for the 'whites'. In California at least most of them will be not actually white, they'll be of Chinese, Iranian, Indian, Russian origin -- essentially from 'everywhere'. You even get the occasional American. They tend to be a bit thin on the ground because government work requires citizenship and so attracts entry level graduates. (The 'others' are usually citizens but they became them rather than being born in the US (see note above about Americanization). This means they'll have started their careers in non-government work and will tend to stay there because its more interesting and often better paid.)

      Now for the women. Women have always been a minority in engineering and their ranks tend to thin further as they get into the 30s. This isn't due to them starting families so much as they get sucked into organizational and customer facing roles. Since many of these jobs are well paid and have a measure of flexibility they have a lot to offer over development work. As for other roles in the company, women then to 'own' HR, legal and financial as well as line management positions.

      As for equal pay, its the law and nobody's going to argue about it. What is at issue is job classification and a lot of this is going to be fights about job equivalency. There is always going to be gaps between what people think they're worth and what they're actually worth to a company. People also have varying negotiation skills when it comes to settling pay and conditions. This can result in quite wide disparities in pay between people doing ostensibly the same job (it it is 'the same job' then they're likely to be lower level employees). Here I can't help you because my skills in this area are appalling compared to, say, my sister-in-law but that's not something I can fix in a court of law.

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Ok...ok...

        "...spent time at a US technology company"

        Well I don't know about spending time at a US tech. company but I did work for one of the worlds largest US companies, although thinking about it, they do dabble in hi-tech areas. Anyway, I was working as as sysadmin at a call centre in Ireland when suddenly we were told that the contract for our services had been terminated and we would be replaced on site by workers from India. As you can imagine we were not happy about this and a bit of sleuthing by our managers teased out a few of the details. It turns out that in my case we were going to be replaced by three people doing two people's jobs for half the price. Now you might say that our service company had overcharged on the original contract but think of this. My colleague and I had built the system more or less from scratch. We knew all the little quirks and had it running like a Swiss watch. Yes, the system was fully documented and all the emergency procedures listed but as many will know that's not all it takes to keep a large setup running. You have to know the system and we did.

        The result was, as I found out later, the place descended into chaos and the contract was terminated and new admins were brought in.

        I had returned to the UK by then and my colleague had got another job in Ireland. So for the sake of some illusionary savings the work at the call-centre was badly disrupted and in the end the owners had to go back to square one.

        I lost a job that I loved in a place that I really enjoyed and my colleague had to work at a site involving a good two hours drive from his home.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Ok...ok...

          Having had to train your replacement would have been the icing on the cake.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ok...ok...

            Having had to train your replacement would have been the icing on the cake.

            The trick is to train them just enough that they and your soon-to-be-former company *THINK* you've taught them enough. Then leave. And enjoy watching them burn.

            I had heard the story of a certain three-lettered tech company that it's own high-end Notes developers shouldn't also be doing support for internal Notes systems. So they set up a support team in Toronto. A couple years later the same company decides it would be cheaper to move support to Brazil. So they flew in staff from Toronto and Brazil to Poughkeepsie for training. The Toronto folks caught on quite quickly to what was up, so when they went home for the weekend, they went job hunting in Totonto, and with that being a place that actually *HAS* job opportunities (unlike the Mid-Hudson Valley area) such was readily done, and they immediately *left* said 3-letter former tech company's employ. Readily said that the Brazilian team never got all the training, and soon enough the high-ticket internal Notes developers were back to doing extra support tasks, at GREEN dollar rates (rather than the internal "Blue Dollar" rates). In the end costing far more than was ever saved.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ok...ok...

        Well I have, several and their cultures were bad enough in the day, now it's all gone to sh*t.

        You have to deal with a Social Media Political Circus environment.

        This is what bringing in women by quotas has brought us, no hate, just the fact.

        Men want the meeting where we plan the migration.

        Women will delay that to talk about the incident where Susan felt ignored or how John was overheard talking about the only 2 genders. Happy I'm retiring soon, I'd rather not be on any of these trains when they bolt from the tracks. My Kids are Independents so they don't have to put up with it, but they won't work contracts for most Universities now...not worth the hassle.

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re: Ok...ok...

          @AC Happy I'm retiring soon

          Assuming that you are the same AC that started this thread, I'm relieved to hear about your near retirement.

        2. Aussie Doc
          Thumb Down

          Re: Ok...ok...

          "Happy I'm retiring soon."

          So is Susan.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ok...ok...

          Ok Boomer.

        4. batfink Silver badge

          Re: Ok...ok...

          It's a good thing you're not generalising here, isn't it?

          From what you've said, the problem is non-productive workers. Get rid of them and replace them with productive ones. However, you may find that the replacement productive ones are, in fact, women. And before you open your mouth to respond, do try to remember the number of useless twats you've worked with who are, in fact, men.

          I currently have three women and two men in my team. The least productive is the white guy, the most productive is the black woman. I don't give a flying fuck about what gender/colour/inclination/whatever people are, as long as they can do their fucking jobs. You should try it.

      3. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Ok...ok...

        This isn't due to them starting families so much as they get pushed out by insecure males. I worked for a large UK company and the attitude to women in engineering was disgusting but some of us tried to do something about it. I did some work in the US and there was not a single women of degree level or above in around 100 people I worked with - apparently they weren't up to it whatever the up to was was never discussed but we had some fun nights out at places where women were not customers as far as I could see. But there was no sexism, women just weren't up to the job.

      4. Electronics'R'Us Bronze badge
        Holmes

        Re: Ok...ok...

        I worked in technology companies in the USA (4 main ones) over a 20+ year period and they are generally pretty good to the engineers; in the UK, there are (I believe) 4 weeks of statutory annual leave but typically in the USA it is 2 weeks (often less for those below engineer status). They also usually provide decent health insurance (a must in the US) and usually at a hefty discount (the last place I worked at paid 90% of the bill for myself and my son).

        These perks are to attract the engineers (it is difficult for the IRS to tax those benefits, unlike the UK, because they don't show up on the only real document of importance - the W2).

        One company I worked for gave me 3 weeks annual vacation as I was part of the core start-up team.

        The overall attitudes to engineering staff vary widely though; at one company, they were secretly (and as I understand it illegally) finding out if job applicants had ever claimed workmens compensation and the overall attitude to the lower positions was pretty poor. They also strictly limited the number of paid sick days an employee was entitled to. It will come as no surprise that the company was in the South (in a so-called 'right to work' state).

        Contrast that to another place, where there was no limit on sick time (just don't abuse it) and they also threw in 5 'personal' days that could be taken at the drop of a hat.

        Keep in mind that the last two companies I worked for (both decent places to work) were start-ups and expected long hours on occasion (although one place let me do much of it at home and bring the results in as I was at the time a single parent - this in the late 90s!) but the culture and pay reflected those things (I took a pretty hefty pay cut to come back to Blighty which was for family reasons).

        At Oracle, they seem to think they can flout basic labour laws (which are pretty thin in the first place in the USA particularly at federal level and in the southern states).

        From that perspective, Oracle's actions are horrendous even compared to the first mentioned company (which also paid women less than men for the same job - something that eventually did come back to bite them in the end).

        There really is no single description for companies in the US as compared to other places.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ok...ok...

      Reminds me of a deliciously ironic story my wife told me a good few years back. She was working at an institution in Germany. There was a position open and the panel whittled it down to two candidates - a male and a female. From what my wife heard, both were very good, but the panel decided to select the guy - primarily because they were worried about the woman disappearing on maternity leave in the future.

      9 months later? The guy they hired applied for 9 months paternity leave (in Germany, you're free to split the leave between the parents however you wish). Apparently his wife had a very highly paid role, so she took just 3 months off, he took 9 to look after the bairn...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ok...ok...

        Apparently his wife had a very highly paid role, so she took just 3 months off, he took 9 to look after the bairn...

        Good for them!

        One of my pet peeves through the years have been the observation that girls typically choose partners that are better off. So come maternity leave time... The partner with the lowest income stays at home.

        If that wasn't the case, then I am pretty sure the panel would have hired the woman.

        As a parent I wish my sons will marry 'up'. But I doubt much will change over the next two decades.

    6. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Ok...ok...

      non ethnic male

      That would be a unique achievement.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Ok...ok...

        White male privilege is not an ethnicity - it is a position of choice.

    7. David Harper 1

      Re: Ok...ok...

      I'm reminded of the proverb: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ok...ok...

      Wow. Not so much a dogwhistle as a full Bavarian Oompah band.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American industrial disease

    Oracle has it bad.

    Be ever vigilant that this kind of US libertarian free market twaddle is restricted to the North American colony.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: American industrial disease

      Be ever vigilant that this kind of US libertarian free market twaddle is restricted to the North American colony.

      Oracle is *FAR* from being a bastion of Libertarian ideals. One of the basic tenets of Libertarianism is the rejection of force or fraud, and certainly those are never considered elements of a proper Free Market. Oracle violates all those ideals on a daily basis, as a part of regular business. The *LAST* thing Oracle wants is a Free Market, and they take every opportunity to undermine it.

  7. Blackjack

    And to think...

    The USA being sue country used to be a joke.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: And to think...

      The Sioux used to be geographically limited!

  8. holmegm Bronze badge

    No fan of Oracle in general, but I need to suspend judgment on this until I hear some real evidence.

    Outside of union shops, "same job title" does *not* always mean same pay.

    Disparities between various groups when it comes to average pay *could* be due to racial discrimination. Or it could be due to any number of other factors. It would take more than an Excel sheet to justly establish this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I am originally from a country where it is always the job that earns the salary not the person in it. The job requires a certain level of qualification and has a salary and benefit package attached to it with a system of increments or scale for the given position. This was the case in all major companies, small businesses were different. I am still , after 20 years, adjusting to this system in the US where remuneration is a secret between the specific employee and the company and two people can do the same job but the salaries may be miles apart.

      1. Robert Grant

        That sounds like the title earns the salary, not the job. E.g. Netflix's engineers are all "senior engineer", but they will be paid different amounts, some $250k more than others. Because managers want people with the right skills, and will pay for them, and those skills are often moving too fast for job titles to keep up. And, the competitiveness around individuals is high as well.

        This is why footballers are not all paid the same, and houses don't all cost the same. This is reality. Same salary bands for job titles is the fiction. It helps with some things for business owners (e.g. keeps wages lower for certain jobs), but stops you hiring the best.

    2. Justthefacts

      Your objection is irrelevant

      Take a (typical) “big corporate” salary structure, where a particular job title has a 50% salary band, overlapping.

      Say Engineer £20-30k, Snr Engineer £30-45k, Staff Eng £40-60k, Princip Eng £50-75k

      If amongst all your Snr Engineers, the women and minorities are crowded at the bottom of the salary band, you have a problem. End of. That is what the data analysis showed Oracle have, and it is unacceptable.

      If this were a “pool of hired labour” problem, pay would be equal within each bracket, but there just wouldn’t be very many minority / female engineers.

      If this were a historic problem working its way through, you would see pay equal within the Snr Engineer bracket, but you see a glass ceiling with say a lack of female Principal Engineers.

      These are different problems.

      In my experience in the U.K. tech sector, we have “equal pay for the role”, fairly egalitarian pay across the board for minorities, a historic but resolving issue for hiring women, and significant glass ceiling problem that I don’t see being fixed.

      1. holmegm Bronze badge

        Re: Your objection is irrelevant

        "If this were a “pool of hired labour” problem, pay would be equal within each bracket, but there just wouldn’t be very many minority / female engineers."

        You forgot the scenario of "pressure to hire lots of (certain) minorities and female".

        If the pool of talent is smaller, but you *have* to recruit the same number of people (in this case, proportionately), you get a weaker team. It's the same reason that small schools play sports against other small schools, not large schools.

        1. Justthefacts

          Re: Your objection is irrelevant

          You are trying to twist the data to fit your theory.

          Firstly, as a hiring manager for many years in several tech companies, I have never felt such pressure. If it did, presumably it could only come from “evil HR”. In practice, pressure from HR and my boss is a mixture of “ Don’t hire inadequate people for short term goals, the long term costs are huge”; “It’s your job to get the project done, just pick one of these people and get the job done”; “if you can’t find a great senior person, couldn’t you hire one of these more junior people with potential, and grow them into the role - which would also be cheaper for the budget (but you still have to get the project done on time with these more junior staff)”. Notice how these are all - absolutely correct that the hiring manager should be considering, mutually incompatible, and opposite to your theory.

          Secondly, if I *did* experience such quota pressure, and decided to acquiesce - and definitely I would be looking to move.....what am I actually going to do? Well, of course, I would try to play the numbers game and push any inadequate quota into the most junior roles where they can’t do any damage. You’d see a massive glass ceiling with lots of minorities in “Junior Engineer” roles, never getting promoted.

          Once again, that’s not what the Oracle data showed. Your theory is just *not right*.

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Just avoid Oracle

    like the plague if you have a choice.

    Ethics must be a banned word in Ellison Towers (sorry Island/Continent)

    He really is a nasty piece of work.

    And to think that I almost went to work for them... (shudder).

    Ok, it was 1999 and I know know better.

    I truly feel sorry for those who work for Oracle and are unable to get out before they are pushed.

    And for once, I'm on Google's side and hope they win their legal spat with Larry and Lawyers.

    1. el kabong Silver badge

      Just avoid the plague

      Deal with the plague the same way you should deal with oracle corporation, its reach is now fully under control and you only get that awful disease if you really want to. You can avoid the plague easily, just deal with it the same way you deal with oracle corporation.

      You have a choice, avoid the plague, you can do it!

  10. Scott Marshall
    Devil

    O.R.A.C.L.E

    As I'm sure has been previously bandied about:

    O. ne

    R. ich

    A. rsehole

    C. alled

    L. arry

    E. llison

    Spending more time and money on lawyers, islands and yachts than actually paying his employees.

    The icon because, you know, Big Red.

    1. Roger Kynaston

      Re: O.R.A.C.L.E - nearly right

      A. sshole since Ellison is a left pondian.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: O.R.A.C.L.E - nearly right

        How about A.ss? Although I must admit it is insulting to hard working pack animals.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the US Department of Labor has no right to enforce labor laws"

    The slapdown on that is going to be epic, I hope.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "the US Department of Labor has no right to enforce labor laws"

      Sometimes I get the feeling that the most appropriate answer to this sort of idiocy would be someone playing a laughing track. It should even be allowed in court as a valid means to express one's opinion of the other party's effort to make black appear white.

      At a minimum we ought to allow raspberries. Even without Pi.

  12. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    They seem to think this is a bad thing...

    "... a group of unelected, unaccountable, and unconfirmed administrative officials have cut from whole cloth this adjudicative agency enforcement scheme.”

    So they're complaining that the enforcement agency is staffed by non-political appointees? OK I guess I can see why Oracle things thats bad. It means they cant throw a few bribes, sorry Political donations, at the right people and get the result they want. Like the Telcos have with the FCC.

    But why do regular americans have a thing against unelected officials? I mean surely the people you want doing a job are the people with the skills to actually do it? The fact you have elected law enforcement for me is insane. Surely, you should have highly trained cops with multi year experience leading your police forces, ones that dont need to focus on elections rather than actually, you know, working. Same goes with any government department.

    I guess its just another aspect of the American psyche that I will never understand...

    1. John Riddoch

      Re: They seem to think this is a bad thing...

      As an outsider to this, it's felt like they hate the government meddling in their lives. The term "government overreach" gets bandied about alongside protecting their "freedoms". I get the impression it started after the war for independance as they threw off the oppression on the British rule and it's just become embedded in their culture.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: They seem to think this is a bad thing...

        "I get the impression it started after the war for independance as they threw off the oppression on the British rule and it's just become embedded in their culture."

        The amusing thing is that the American War of Independence started as the Colonies' refusal to pay for their own defence. Nowadays, the ex-Colonies pay more of their GDP on defence than any other country, and are currently in an argument with South Korea to get them to pay much more for their defence.

        1. EveryTime

          Re: They seem to think this is a bad thing...

          > "The amusing thing is that the American War of Independence started as the Colonies' refusal to pay for their own defence."

          That's a signification mis-statement of the motivation. I understand that you are drawing an analogy, but it doesn't work with the historical facts.

          As one example of a significant motivation for the American revolution, consider the group that became known as the Green Mountain Boys. They bought land and built houses and farms in what was the New Hampshire Grants. Someone in English convinced the King to shift control of that land to New York, which then sold their land or granted it to people as political favors. The Green Mountain Boys refused to give up their homes. They started out as loyalists that didn't intend to join a revolution, but they were forced into being rebels.

          For this and many of the other grievances it was probably the case that the King was manipulated without understanding the implications of what he did. Which was exactly what the rebellion was about -- the colonies had no influence on far-away corrupt administration.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "it's felt like they hate the government meddling"

        In their profit-seeking ventures, whatever the cost.

        Soon Oracle will assert that the US Government had not authority to abolish slavery, and it was unconstitutional because it deprived people of private properties...

        1. IGotOut

          Re: "it's felt like they hate the government meddling"

          "I get the impression it started after the war for independance as they threw off the oppression on the British rule and it's just become embedded in their culture."

          The American civil war was exactly the same thing. One bunch of enlightened people trying to get freedom for everyone by overthrowing another bunch of oppressive pricks.

          1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: "it's felt like they hate the government meddling"

            The American civil war was exactly the same thing. One bunch of enlightened people trying to get freedom for everyone by overthrowing another bunch of oppressive pricks.

            You're right. The Union *WERE* a bunch of oppressive pricks.

  13. DavCrav Silver badge

    "In October 2017, a group of former women staffers"

    I guess you mean female former staffers, unless the claim is they treated transgender people worse.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Trollface

      Hello, there!

      I'm Grover and today I'm going to explain what "context" is!

      And as an extra, I'll also explain the "Charity Principle"!

      8^)

    2. el kabong Silver badge

      Whatever... who cares. Those niceties are totally unnecessary in this case

      Who cares about such niceties when you have a much bigger problem in your hands, you are dealing with oracle corporation here, remember? They don't care about niceties, they will fight you and they will crush you ruthlessly, the alarm bells are ringing. You cannot afford to waste precious time with useless niceties and lose focus from the threat that looms.

      It could have been written "staffers female former" or "former staffers female" it would have made no difference as the real threat would still be there and ready to take you.

    3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      I guess you mean female former staffers, unless the claim is they treated transgender people worse.

      Hey, IBM did it with Lynn Conway, maybe Larry is learning from Watson Jr's example.

  14. Groove-Cat

    I used to work for Big Red for 2 years. Fcuk me, that was enough!

    There seemed to be this unwritten mantra, "If you're not sales or marketing, you were considered an overhead"

    I worked in Cloud Support, so yeah that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. :/

    Even if Ellison gave all his money away today, that would be great, but he would still be a dickhead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      FTFY

      I guess there was also " ... or legal" which you forgot to add

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: FTFY

        Aren't Oracle's legal team one of their sales channels?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FTFY

          Ah, that's a good point.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      "If you're not sales or marketing, you were considered an overhead"

      That attittude isn't confined to Oracle - I've seen it at places I've worked too.

  15. abubasim
    Trollface

    Not Allowed to Discriminate?

    Not allowed to pay women and minorities less in salary? Surely that is going to change under the current administation!

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Not Allowed to Discriminate?

      Do you know who the Labor Secretary is? There's a reason why Oracle attempted such defense.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not Allowed to Discriminate?

      It's already THE LAW.

      Geebus the West is being beaten down real good.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not Allowed to Discriminate?

      Trump pays people in ways far more valuable than mere financial rewards.

      There is massive discrimination against men in this aspect as not one of them has received a grope let alone been permitted the luxury of tasting his penis, as far as we know. About the only non-financial benefit that both men and women receive in equal amounts from Trump is his wisdom and insight.

  16. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    So they're admitting they discriminate.

  17. LemonTree3

    Rooting here for the US Dept of Labor

    Likely Oracle will use this lawsuit to request a delay in the resolution of the primary lawsuit from the US DoL. Hopefully the Judge will not grant a stay in the case as Oracle is not likely to win in its new case against the Department of Labor. Hopefully Oracle will be found guilty and be required to make restitution payments for its systematic abuse of its employees.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Rooting here for the US Dept of Labor

      Yep, that is a first for me too ;)

  18. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The Constitution

    This is beyond xkcd linking. We're in The Onion territory.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Constitution

      Alas, though written in 2009, I had to look 'when'. Same as today. :( The imagined constitution has moved from parody into the White House.

  19. JoeySter

    This looks like a bad of bad versus bad.

    We all know big companies will do things such as H1Bs and visas to get workers that would demand a lower wage. There's no direct discrimination there. There is a case of indirect discrimination which is questionable.

    There are however stupid claims that make me think a lot of this is political correctness stupidity. People doing similar work with the same title won't necessarily be paid the same.

    * Jennifer Rockhard is a junior brick layer. She gets paid 10 pence per brick laid. She works four hours a day and lays 750 bricks. She earns £75.

    * Jonathan Cottonsoft is a junior brick layer. He gets paid 10 pence per brick laid. He works four hours a day and lays 1000 bricks. He earns £100.

    In this situation Jennifer might scream it's not fair, she works the same hours, does the same kind of work and has the same title.

    The social justice worshippers are saying you have to give Jennifer £25 to make up. Here you quickly get into a bizarre situation.

    What if Jennifer is Paul? Why should sex make a difference?

    What if John reduces his productivity to 500 bricks each shift? Now Jennifer loses here £25 and John gets paid £25 more to make up for Jennifer. Now what happens if Jennifer reduces her output to 250 bricks? Hell, what if she stacks no bricks? Does she still need to be paid £50?

    What if the difference is taken from his pay check so he has to pay her £12.5?

    If she is getting paid for his work is that not slavery?

    There are reasons why full communism doesn't work. These are some of them. When people are asking for equal wages like this irrespective of specifics such as performance that's implementing full communism at least within the scope of your job title.

    You can often sniff out communism. They're use the term paid where the proper term is earned.

    While the article claims there's sufficient evidence against Oracle, this is untrue. There are statistics that don't really tell you anything. Men and women could be being paid the same. If it's a situation such as that of Cottonsoft V Rockhard where Rockhard is paid the same despite laying significantly less bricks then your pay ratios will be 50/50 even though you have a discriminatory pay complaint.

    "The expert brought it to do the analysis, Professor David Neumark of UC Irvine, said that the probability of the discrepancy happening by chance was less than one in a billion."

    This is not an expert in employment. This is an novice in coin flipping. Such flipping a coin a few thousand times is highly unlikely, less than one in a billion, to produce a result distant to 50/50 +- 1.

    Of course we know the chances of a coin toss for a normal unloaded coin.

    We don't know the chances between men and women. That makes his claim factually incorrect. The implication is that Oracle is doing something deliberately to bring this about which is false. Oracle may be doing nothing and instead the natural differences manifesting.

    Although it a taboo to say it, it's not excluded from discrimination laws, yes, men might be doing better than women or working harder than women on the whole.

    Statistics should *not* be the basic of discrimination suits. There is a reason for that. They're prejudicial. They're not based on actual individual circumstances. It might be a surprise to many but relying on statistics is sexist.

    Oracle should review salaries to ensure consistency as a matter of duty and routine. To assume however that men are all being over paid rather than earning their extra pay is deeply prejudice and sexist.

    People who do that should be struck off from employment altogether as they lack to cognitive acuity needed to be capable of not discriminating.

    1. Steve Knox

      Why you were downvoted.

      Rather than downvote you, or waste my time explaining exactly why each of your points indicates that you simply did not read or comprehend the article, I'm just going to reference David Harper 1's excellent post above.

    2. batfink Silver badge

      Nice straw man. Unfortunately El Reg isn't a place where you can set up straw men (or indeed straw women) and not be challenged.

      In your example, your two workers are paid the same: 10p per brick. There is no discrimination. The rest of your diatribe is fantasy.

  20. spold Silver badge

    I see a merger?

    >>>

    here was a deliberate corporate strategy to replace older workers with younger ones.

    <<<

    Might as well team up with IBM, fire everyone over 40, and buy India.

    Seems a natural fit?

    BTW all your database are belong to us.

  21. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    So when does Oracle pull an "Uber"

    And get out of this by reassigning their entire workforce as contractors.

    (Or perhaps this is part of Oracles company talent show. Maybe they are rehearsing for their production of "A Christmas Carol, with Larry Ellison playing a certain famous skinflint.")

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Systemic problems

    The company has a policy that anyone who has finished university / college in the past number of years must be processed through the graduate recruitment office which is run by a long time friend of Ellison which (unlike any other department) reports directly to Ellison.

    An Oracle manager once complained to me that he couldn't deal directly with potential applicants or see all of the applications for a position. Strangely, the graduate recruitment office almost always sent over piles of applications that all had the same racial, visa status and gender profile. They also have a policy forbidding employees discussing their compensation.

    That's how they rig the system, make it impossible to complain and tightly control the information to get legal protection.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hypocrisis

    Most companies I've worked for are complete hypocrites.

    In the front, trumpeting to the mass "work/personal life balance" or "we value women work".

    Then if you look behind the scene, you'll see women/men and black/white discrimination all over the

    place.

    Not too far in the past, my company would routinely send emails about blah.blah work/personal life balance,

    phone number if you need help, don't drink too much, drugs are not healthy etc ...

    It turned out I refused an internal position because it would simply mean I'd abandon my only kid at the time it

    WASN'T going well at all with her mom.

    They fired me for this. So long for work/personal life balance, suckers !

  24. Robinson

    Really?

    Being in the same job with the same title does not imply you're equally skilled or productive, or indeed that you're equally adept at negotiating your remuneration.

  25. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Coat

    Why are most Equalities positions filled by women?

    It's cheaper.

  26. Gnoitall
    Devil

    A Fine Old Legal Adage Explains Oracle's Strategy

    "If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table"

    Oracle is furiously pounding on the table.

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