An ex-Google recruiter is suing the company, claiming that Google forced him to discriminate against hiring white and Asian men in an effort to make the company more diverse.
Arne Wilberg worked at Google and YouTube as a recruiter, contractor, and full-time employee for nearly a decade. According to his lawsuit filed last month in San Mateo County, Google set hiring quotas and, at one point in 2017, explicitly informed recruiters to strictly hire “diverse” candidates. Wilberg claims recruiters were told to “purge” any “non-diverse employees” from a hiring pool of software engineers.
“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,” the lawsuit says.
Wilberg said his manager sent an email to his team last year, telling them to only accept candidates from “historically underrepresented groups” for a particular job opening. “Beginning of Q3—-we hire for 2018–all diverse,” a company memo told recruiters last year, according to Wilberg. The former employee says he was fired in late 2017, after complaining about its hiring policies.
“We will vigorously defend this lawsuit,” a Google spokesperson told TheWrap. “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.”
The lawsuit included a screenshot of a “weekly recap” document, outlining the company’s recent hires, their ethnic background, and where the team fell short of meeting its diversity goals. For a week in early 2017, Google “hired 14 females (with a goal of 82), 1 Black (with a goal of 21) and 5 LatinX (with a goal of 13),” according to the lawsuit. This system was later deleted by the company, Wilberg claims.
Google started sharing its hiring data with the public in 2014. The Mountain View, California-based company shows 80 percent of engineers hired last year were male, and more than 90 percent were white or asian.