Three former employees of Google on Thursday sued the Alphabet Inc-owned company and accused it of gender discrimination in pay and promotion, Reuters reported.

The plaintiffs – a former Google software engineer, a former communications specialist and a former manager – accused the tech major of paying its male staff significantly higher salaries than their female counterparts for work performed in similar roles. They also alleged that Google assigned female employees positions that have limited career growth.

“While Google has been an industry-leading tech innovator, its treatment of female employees has not entered the 21st century,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer Kelly Dermody said.

The proposed class action lawsuit comes at a time when the company is being investigated by the United States Department of Labour for gender biases in its pay practices. Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano refuted the allegations, saying committees on hiring and promotions decide on employment matters “to make sure there is no gender bias”.