If you believe that Google support workforce diversity, think twice. Arne Wilberg, an ex-recruiter who was fired after complaining to HR about the company’s hiring policy that is biased against white and Asian male, filed a lawsuit against Google.
According to court doc, Wilberg worked at Google and YouTube for seven years as an employee, and two additional years as a onsite contractor before becoming an employee.
According to the suit:
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 job applicants who are Hispanic, African American, or female, and against Caucasian and Asian men. These policies were reflected in multiple bulletins, memorandum, charts, and other documents prepared by Google’s highest-level managers, and approved by Google’s C-level officers and directors. 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.
Among other examples, the suit claimed:
In approximately December of 2015, Plaintiff’s Supervisor, Terry O’Conner (O’Conner) emailed the entire YouTube Tech Staffing team (alias – firstname.lastname@example.org), to tell the entire team that the goal for Q1 2016 was 5 SWE hires per recruiter and all of the hires had to be diverse SWE candidates which means they must be black, Hispanic or women.
After Wilberg and 3 other recruiters complained about this issue, a co-worker was demoted from L6 to L5, and two transferred off of O’Conner’s team.
Later, when the hiring practice got attention from HRs, “Google deleted the YouTube Candidate Tracker for the YouTube Diversity Steering Committee from the Google Drive. Further O’Conner and others deleted all emails around diversity hiring goals from the YouTube Technical Staffing Team’s Gmail inboxes.”
In March of 2017, the manager of YouTube’s Tech Staffing Management Team, Allison Alogna, wrote an e-mail to the staffing team in which she writes, “Hi Team: Please continue with L3 candidates in process and only accept new L3 candidates that are from historically underrepresented groups.” … For several quarters, Google would not extend an offer of employment for any applicants for technical positions who were not “diverse”, which Google defined as Women, Blacks and LatinX. Google had a policy that recruiters were not to hire Level 3 and Level 4 Software Engineers. However, YouTube recruiters were given permission to hire Level 3 and Level 4 Software Engineers, if they were diversity hires.
In April of 2017, Google’s Technology Staffing Management team was instructed by Alogna to immediately cancel all Level 3 (0-5 years experience) software engineering interviews with every single applicant who was not either female, Black or Hispanic, and to purge entirely an applications by non-diverse employees from the hiring pipeline.
In June of 2017, the YouTube Staffing Team was restructured. Google formed a group of “Diversity Only” technical recruiters. They were responsible for College Recruiting where the goal in college recruiting was to hire only (100%) Black, Hispanic and woman Engineers. The goal for 2018 hiring was to hire a total of 80 engineers and they were to all required to be “diverse”.
In October of 2017, Google’s college recruiters gave an update in the bi-weekly YouTube team recruiting team meeting that for 2018 college hiring, 75% of all hires were diverse and the team had hired over 30 of the 80 all Diverse Software engineer hiring goal.
Wilberg refused to comply with the request, and repeatedly complained to his managers and HR, telling them that it was illegal to have such hiring quotas.
However, as a response, “Google on occasion would circulate e-mails instructing its employees purge any and all references to the race/gender quotas from its email database in a transparent effort to wipe out any paper trail of Google’s illegal practices.” Finally, Google fired Wilberg in November 2017, after subjecting him to unsubstantiated performance reviews and performance criticisms.