Google Accused in Lawsuit of Excluding White and Asian Men in Hiring

Bill Rogers
March 4, 2018

A former YouTube employee has accused the video streaming giant of allegedly limiting its White and Asian men hires as a means to ensure their workforce is more diverse.

"For the past several years, Google has had and implemented clear and irrefutable policies, memorialized in writing and consistently implemented in practice, of systematically discriminating in favor [of] job applicants who are Hispanic, African American, or female, and against Caucasian and Asian men", the lawsuit claimed.

Wilberg, who spent nine years at Google before he was sacked last November, worked as a YouTube recruiter for four years.

Indeed, Wilberg's claim of discrimination against majority groups mimics the culture war around diversity being waged inside Google, where employees advocating for increased diversity have been reprimanded for offending white men.

"We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity", a representative from Google told the Journal in a statement.

Wilberg alleges he was sacked in retaliation for complaining to human resources about the company's hiring practices.

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The lawsuit follows in the wake of a similar claim in January by former Google engineer James Damore, fired for penning a memo against diversity. YouTube, on the other hand, says Wilberg's allegations are off-base.

According to Wilberg's lawsuit, Google's human-resources department began investigating YouTube's hiring practices in the spring of 2016.

Wilberg claims that his manager sent the team an email that stated, "please continue with L3 candidates in process and only accept new L3 candidates that are from historically underrepresented groups".

The hiring practices challenged in the lawsuit fall into a controversial area of labor law, where setting goals to diversify is acceptable, but setting quotas is not.

According to the suit, Wilberg's manager, Allison Alogna, told staff to cancel interviews with Level 3 software engineers (those with 0-5 years' experience) if they were not female, black, or Hispanic. In the meantime, Google has to walk a narrow line: How can the company signal the urgency of being inclusive without setting targets? Although he maintains that Google favored minorities, Wilberg declares that "one recruiter told her peers that she felt the way the team talked about black people in team meetings was like we were talking about black slaves as slave traders on a ship".

It is not the first time the company is criticized over its diversity practices.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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