Google accused of excluding Asians, whites for some positions

Google  WIRED

The critics of Google's effort to promote workforce diversity now include one of its own former recruiters, who claims in a lawsuit he was sacked because he didn't toe the line on rejecting white and Asian male job candidates. The lawsuit, filed in January in a California court, claims the company fired Wilberg, who worked also as a YouTube recruiter during his time at Google, for voicing his concern about the company's recruiting strategies. In August 2017, the Guardian revealed that more than 60 current and former Google employees were considering bringing a lawsuit against the company, alleging sexism and pay disparities against women.

"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. Last week, Tim Chevalier, a former engineer, sued Google for wrongful termination over pro-diversity comments he made criticizing white privilege. During that period, he claims the company put a freeze on hiring White and Asian men while also setting hiring quotas for so-called "diversity candidates".

Wilberg claimed that he and other recruiters were uncomfortable with the hiring practice and even claimed that recruiters felt senior managers were talking about African-American employees like "we were talking about Black slaves as slave traders on a ship". Wilberg says that he was instructed to toss applications that weren't from women and underrepresented minorities (black and Hispanic), as well as cancel interviews with people who didn't meet these criteria. He also alleged that late a year ago, management deleted emails and other digital records of diversity requirements.

Arne Wilberg was a recruiter on Google's technology and engineering hiring team for YouTube.

"Please continue with L3 [level three] candidates in process and only accept new L3 candidates that are from historically underrepresented groups."

According to the Verge, Google's workforce is now 69% male and 91% white or Asian.

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. In one case, the suit claims, hiring managers pressured Wilberg to make an applicant over 40 apply for a position he wasn't qualified for so the job seeker would fail to gain employment at Google.

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