Google has been sued by a former YouTube employee for allegedly pressuring recruiters to only look for female and Latina applicants and that the video-sharing platform had past year stopped hiring White and Asian males for technical positions.
The lawsuit also claimed that Google "discriminated against employees for their perceived conservative political views", as well as their "Caucasian race" and "male gender". Wilberg also alleges that over the past two years, YouTube started trying to cover up its diversity hiring practices.
Google told The Wall Street Journal that "we have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity".
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.
Wilberg, according to the lawsuit, "repeatedly told [his managers] that it was illegal to have such hiring quotas favoring certain groups based on race and gender, that it violated state and federal law, and that Google must immediately cease and desist from engaging, in such illegal hiring practices". 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.
According to the lawsuit, Wilberg's attempt to raise the issue of quotas did not go unnoticed. The conflagration briefly engulfed Google's own offices, turning the workspace into a polarized war zone.
The problem is that mandatory quotas based on gender or ethnicity may violate U.S. anti-discrimination laws, depending on how they're implemented. 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". Many have adopted policies and programs created to encourage more balanced hiring, not only to right past discrimination but for their own economic advantage: According to management consultancy McKinsey, diverse companies deliver better financial results. Wilberg says he complained about the practices and was ultimately fired in November.
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. When Lee filed a complaint with H.R.at the company's urging, she said that Google declined to investigate. Google denies that its salaries are discriminatory.
The company also "had a practice of systematically discriminating against older engineers in its hiring practices", the suit says.