New Lawsuit Exposes Google's Desperation to Improve Diversity

03 March, 2018, 04:56 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • NATION-NOW     Google engineer says he was fired for fighting racism sexism     
       Google engineer says he was fired for fighting racism sexism

Recruitment specialist Arne Wilberg, an employee at Google and its YouTube unit for nine years as a contractor and employee, filed a lawsuit in California, according to Bloomberg.

In his lawsuit, Wilberg, 40, also claims Google discriminated against him personally, firing him in November 2017 for his race and sex as a result of his complaints over the company's policies.

"We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity".

The lawsuit follows a similar action by James Damore, a former Google engineer who rose to prominence after sending an internal memo criticizing Google's diversity practices and defending the gender gap. After writing a memo critical of Google's hiring practices, Damore was sacked and accused of misogyny for suggesting biological differences between men and women might explain, in part, why Google engineers are overwhelmingly male. The team set yearly goals for hiring, and tracked progress on these documents. The lawsuit also states that he repeatedly spoke out against these initiatives, telling his superiors they were discriminatory and illegal.


According to Google's own statistics, the company's US workforce is 56 percent white, 35 percent Asian and 69 percent male. "In his complaint, which was filed at the end of January in San Mateo, Calif., Wilberg says he and other recruiters had to nix interviews if the applicants weren't black, female, or Hispanic, and that applications that didn't fall under those demographics were to be "[purged] entirely".

Wilberg has alleged that in 2016 and 2017, he and his fellow recruiters were told on several occasions to approve or dismiss job candidates based exclusively on whether they were women, black or Latino. Google launched an investigation into YouTube's hiring practices in 2016, but recruiting managers allegedly tried to cover up the practices in question, including asking recruiters to delete emails and references to tracking a candidate's diversity status. In one case, the suit claims, hiring managers pressured Wilberg to make an applicant over 40 apply for a position he wasn't qualified for so the job seeker would fail to gain employment at Google.

"Please continue with L3 [level three] candidates in process and only accept new L3 candidates that are from historically underrepresented groups."

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