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Gender Bias Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Amazon

Three female employees (Caroline Wilmuth, Katherine Schomer, and Erin Combs) allege Amazon assigns women staffers to lower job titles for the same roles held by men at higher titles and larger salaries. Wilmuth, Schomer, and Combs worked in the company’s corporate research and strategy division. Amazon purportedly does not promote women at the same rate as men, “resulting in the performance of similar work as men in higher job codes for less compensation.” Wilmuth claims Amazon classified the three women on her team in a lower-paid category with the fourth and sole male researcher in a higher-paid, higher-level position. He earned significantly more income.

The three women complained in late 2021 about their concerns. Amazon’s human resources department investigated whether female employees were misclassified based on gender. Following their complaint, Amazon allegedly retaliated against them within weeks by demoting them, significantly reducing the scope of their jobs, and moving direct reports to another team to be overseen by a man whom the women accused of gender discrimination. The women’s lawsuit claims an Amazon investigator determined that the decision to shift the direct reports to the male supervisor had a “disparate impact” on women. The male researcher allegedly told the investigator that the move was “discriminatory” as it was “done across gender lines.”

In a statement, Amazon disputed the facts alleged in the lawsuit, adding that it does not tolerate workplace discrimination and investigates all claims of such behavior.