Lawsuit: YouTube divisions job postings exclude white and Asian men

Image source Neon Tommy via Flickr

Image source Neon Tommy via Flickr

The lawsuit alleges that sometime in mid-2017 managers were instructed to stop tracking the number of employees they hired from minority groups and told them to drop all hiring bias based on diversity quotas. As the needle failed to move on the share of black and Hispanic engineers, frustration intensified toward an industry that wants to influence the globe, but can't change itself.

That recruiter, Arne Wilberg, is suing Google's sister company, claiming that he was explicitly told not to hire white and Asian men. Thursday, Arne Wilberg, a former technical recruiter in Google's YouTube unit, filed suit, alleging that YouTube illegally used quotas as recently as a year ago in an attempt to hire more black, Latinx, and female engineers. Wilberg stated that previous year and in 2016, he and other recruiters were told to approve or dismiss candidates based exclusively on whether they were women, black or Latino.

These lawsuits come amid the rising debate over the efforts from the technology firms to raise the dismal numbers of women, African Americans and Hispanics in the workforce. According to his lawsuit filed last month in San Mateo County, Google set hiring quotas and, at one point in 2017, explicitly informed recruiters to strictly hire "diverse" candidates.

The complaint paints recruiters inside Google as desperate to "manage the public relations problems" arising from the lack of women and underrepresented minorities.

"We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity", Gina Scigliano said in an email.

Further, she stated that the company is not hesitant in accepting that they look for a diverse pool of qualified candidates for open roles, and this helps them in hiring the best people, improve culture and build better products. They then mentioned that Google's racial and gender preferences in hiring were not up for debate, because this was morally and economically the best thing to do for Google. California labor law prohibits refusing to hire employees based on characteristics like race or gender.

When James Damore posted an inflammatory memo to an internal Google message board last year, he unleashed a bitterness that had seemingly been simmering beneath the surface of Silicon Valley for years. In the meantime, Google has to walk a narrow line: How can the company signal the urgency of being inclusive without setting targets? The company is now facing a Federal complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board in April for interfering with employees' legal right to discuss "workplace diversity and social justice initiatives.' The complaint alleges that Senior Vice President Urs Holzle and numerous managers in his organization actively stoked up witch hunts in 2015 and 2016 meant to muzzle low-level employees who raised concerns about the company's practices". Wilberg alleges that one black engineer reported that she was uncomfortable only being asked to interview black candidates.

Officer of Google, and Eileen Naughton ("Naughton"), the Human Resources Director of Google. "You could have spoken up years ago for people who were actually being discriminated against".

A few months back, James Damore, a former Google employee, claimed that he was sacked for writing an anti-diversity memo, which triggered loads of controversy both within and outside the organization.

Google has denied the company implemented discriminatory policies toward Caucasian and Asian men.

Latest News