A former employee at YouTube has filed a lawsuit versus Google for allegedly hiring only female, black, and Hispanic or Latin applicants, discriminating against white and Asian males.
Arne Wilberg, who spent nine years working for Google, sued the Silicon Valley giant in January, The Verge reports. According to Wilberg, Google implemented “clear and irrefutable policies” that purposefully excluded white and Asian, in an attempt to generate more diversity for the company. Google supposedly retaliated against Wilberg’s opposition to the policies, firing him from the company in November 2017.
Wilberg’s lawsuit names Google and 25 unnamed employees who supposedly enforced these hiring rules, using emails and other documents to support the claim. The lawsuit adds that for several quarters, Google only hired people from historically underrepresented populations for technical roles. In one hiring cycle, recruiters were reportedly told to cancel all software engineering interviews with non-diverse applicants who did not qualify for a certain experience level, and to “purge entirely any applications by non-diverse employees from the hiring pipeline.”
California labor laws prohibit companies from discriminating in hiring due to race or gender.
Wilberg also alleges that many employees complained about Google’s hiring practices, but were ignored or demoted. Some employees from marginalized groups were also reportedly not comfortable with something called “Project Mirror,” where the hirers would be specifically assigned to interview people of their own race or gender, The Wall Street Journal says.
Google said, “We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity…At the same time, we unapologetically try to find a diverse pool of qualified candidates for open roles, as this helps us hire the best people, improve our culture, and build better products.”
As of 2017, 69% of Google’s workforce is male. The number was 70% in 2014, meaning there has been barely a change in the past three years. Two ex-employees of Google also sued the company earlier this year, alleging that the tech giant discriminates against white men.