Three women who used to work at Google have filed a lawsuit against the technology giant, alleging it pays women less than men for comparable work. The suit says Google is aware of the situation, but has not moved to fix it.
It comes as companies in Silicon Valley face growing scrutiny over gender relations.
Google is also under investigation by the US Department of Labour over its pay practices.
It is time to stop ignoring these issues in tech, said Kelly Ellis, a former software engineer at Google and one of the women who filed the suit.
She posted on Twitter that she hopes the suit will force Google and other companies to change their practices. The lawsuit, filed in a San Francisco court, says Google discriminates against female staff with lower pay, more limited promotion, and fewer advancement opportunities compared to men with comparable qualifications. Ms Ellis, for example, was hired in 2010 at a level typically assigned to college graduates, although she had four years of experience, according to the lawsuit. A male colleague with similar levels of experience started on a higher rung.
She was also assigned to a less prestigious engineering role, the suit says
Ms Ellis resigned from Google four years later "because of the sexist culture, the lawsuit said.