Three former female employees have sued Google, alleging that the company has "engaged in systemic and pervasive pay and promotion discrimination."
The women claim they were paid less than men, frequently assigned to lower paying jobs, and promoted less often than men in similar jobs. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in state court in San Francisco. It asks a judge to certify it as a class action and seeks wages, interest and damages.
Google denies the claims made in the lawsuit.
"We disagree with the central allegations," Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano, said in a statement to CNN Tech.
One of the plaintiffs, software engineer Kelly Ellis, was hired in 2010. Prior to that, she had worked as an engineer after graduating from the University of Virginia in 2006, the suit says.
According to the complaint, Google assigned her to Level 3 on the software engineering team -- the slot on the Google career ladder for new college graduates. Weeks after Ellis was hired, the company hired a male software engineer, who had also graduated in 2006. He was put on the higher-paying Level 4, according to the complaint.
Ellis went on to receive strong performance reviews at Google but, the complaint alleges, was initially denied a promotion to Level 4. She eventually got the promotion before leaving Google in 2014, according to the suit. "But by that time, her male counterparts were on their way to even higher levels and compensation for similar work, ensuring she could never catch up on the gender pay gap," the complaint states.