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California’s tech companies work to hire the best and brightest in order to make the advancements in technology that people around the world enjoy. However, they must be careful not to violate workplace discrimination laws in doing so. One of the state’s tech companies, Oracle America, is facing a lawsuit filed by the Labor Department — alleging that its hiring practices do just that.

Oracle has numerous federal contracts, which means that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has the right to review numerous aspects of the company’s operations, including its human resource practices. The agency claims that a review indicated that white men were paid more than others employed by the company, which causes discrimination against non-white male employees. In addition, it favored hiring Asians to fill product development roles and other key tech positions, which causes discrimination against non-Asian applicants.

When the Labor Department’s investigation was opened in 2014, the agency says Oracle refused to turn over information necessary to conduct the investigation. Oracle claims the lawsuit is purely political, but the problem seems to be industry wide. Tech companies appear to be primarily staffed by Asian and white men in violation of diversity laws.

California employees and applicants who believe they suffer from workplace discrimination in the tech industry should come forward. Not only might they receive monetary and non-monetary relief, but they could also continue to bring light to an issue that governmental agencies believe plague the entire industry. In a state that prides itself on embracing diversity, its employers should not be allowed to undermine that spirit.

Source: USA Today, “Oracle sued by Labor Department for paying white men more“, Jessica Guynn, Jan. 18, 2017