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In a recent lawsuit against the Silicone Valley tech giant, a former recruiter for both Google and Youtube alleges that his former employer applied filters to their hiring process that were focused on race and gender.
Arne Wilberg filed a civil lawsuit in San Mateo Superior Court against Google on the basis that they employ racial and gender discrimination when hiring people to tech positions within the company, violating both state and federal laws prohibiting such activities.
Wilberg says he was told by the tech staffing manager to consider only those candidates who were from “historically underrepresented groups.”
He also alleges that he was ordered to cancel interviews with candidates who were not female, black, hispanic, and to trash any applications from applicants not fitting those demographics.
It was when Wilberg refused to comply with this order that he experienced considerable friction from the company’s management. The Register reports:
A former recruiter for Google and YouTube has sued the search ad beast, claiming he was fired for objecting to hiring policies that discriminated against white and Asian men.
In a civil lawsuit filed in January in San Mateo Superior Court, plaintiff Arne Wilberg contended that he was an exemplary employee who received positive performance evaluations “until he began opposing illegal hiring and recruiting practices at Google.”
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.
Silicon Valley-based tech companies, chided for hiring mostly white and Asian men in technical and leadership roles, have tried to figure out ways to develop more inclusive, diverse workforces. Many have adopted policies and programs designed 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.
The problem is that mandatory quotas based on gender or ethnicity may violate US anti-discrimination laws, depending on how they’re implemented.
Google, Wilberg’s complaint claimed, “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.”
The complaint cited Google policy documents from 2017 that demand diversity in hiring goals.
It claimed the manager of YouTube’s tech staffing management team, Allison Alogna, sent an email in March 2017 indicating that new level-three software engineering candidates – specifically, geeks with five years of experience or less – must be from “historically underrepresented groups.”
When presented with orders to cancel level-three software engineering interviews with anyone not either female, black, or Hispanic, and to purge applications from non-diverse employees in the hiring pipeline, Wilberg refused and faced retaliation as a result, it is claimed.
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 complaint contends that in response to Wilberg’s efforts to challenge the diversity scheme, Google “on occasion would circulate emails instructing its employees purge any and all references to the race/ gender quotas from its e-mail database in a transparent effort to wipe out any paper trail of Google’s illegal practices.”
In an email to The Register, a Google spokesperson said the company intends to vigorously defend against these claims. “We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity,” Google’s spokesperson said. “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.”
While such discriminatory practices are becoming more common, especially in academic circles, the very organizations which bring services that are almost at the level of a public utility and are now, in the wake of the Russiagate phobia, increasingly becoming agents of censorship as they become responsible for whether the content available on the internet is properly politically correct is more and more becoming a concern.
Youtube is presently taking heat for employing the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of its content filtration advisers in order to determine what content is considered “hateful” and subsequently removed from public availability.
With the SPLC’s eroding credibility in recent years, it has become an organization that apparently blacklists political incorrectness for profit. Now, with the allegations revealed in this civil suit, it seems that the forms of discrimination that are employed by the SPLC are becoming a matter of course in the area of staffing at Google and Youtube’s tech sectors as well.