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Former YouTube Recruiter Sues Google for Discriminating 'Against Caucasian and Asian Men'

Illustration for article titled Former YouTube Recruiter Sues Google for Discriminating Against Caucasian and Asian Menem/em
Photo: Google

A former Google employee is claiming that the company discriminated against white and Asian male candidates during the recruiting process. Arne Wilberg, who worked as a recruiter for YouTube for seven years, filed a civil lawsuit against Google in January for allegedly retaliating against him when he objected to the company’s recruiting practices.

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According to the lawsuit, Wilberg recruited candidates for engineering and tech jobs at Google and YouTube. The suit alleges that for several years, the company “had and implemented clear and irrefutable policies, memorialized in writing and consistently implemented in practice, of systematically discriminating in favor job applicants who are Hispanic, African American, or female, and against Caucasian and Asian men.” It noted that these policies were made evident in “multiple bulletins, memorandum, charts, and other documents” that were prepared and approved by leadership at the company.

“The stated purpose of these policies was to achieve ‘Diversity’ in the Google workforce, and to manage public relations problems arising from the underrepresentation of women and certain minority groups in the Google workforce, particularly in engineering positions,” the lawsuit states.

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Wilberg claims in the lawsuit that he was retaliated against when he brought his concerns to human resources. He received poor performance reviews, and, in November of last year, was fired for “client escalations, not meeting goals, talking too much in meetings and not being collaborative.” The lawsuit characterizes these claims as “all pretextual.”

When Gizmodo asked Google to comment on the allegations that it discriminated against white and Asian male candidates during the recruiting process, a spokesperson said in a statement that it “will vigorously defend this lawsuit.”

“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.”

Google’s push to diversify its workforce isn’t a secret—the company has been outspoken about its commitment to hiring more people from underrepresented communities in tech. In fact, it’s spent millions of dollars on its diversity efforts, to no avail.

[Bloomberg, CNET]

Do you have information about Google’s hiring practices? Email me: melanie.ehrenkranz@gizmodo.com

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DISCUSSION

StarControl

Not a popular opinion these days, but I’ve seen the same thing. One place I am very well familiar with we pass on white/asian/middle-east/rest of the world candidates that say may be at 95% of what position we’re looking for, in favor of black/Hispanic candidates that are about 80% of the skill set we need.

Yes, the whole thing of opportunities in life/education/access to good parents/high schools/etc is not entirely lost on me, and yes even though that candidate is not quite there they’ll most likely do ok. But I’m forced to hire a candidate that’s 80% of what I need, vs a candidate that is 95% of what I need in a position simply because of race. You’re just moving the “equality slider” from “workers need to be at equal skill levels”, to “workers need to be of equal numbers based on race”.

With that said we have plenty of brilliant black and Hispanic folks that would have been hired without the affirmative action.