Lawsuit: YouTube Stopped Hiring White and Asian Males to Improve Diversity

by Lawrence Cooper March 3, 2018, 4:58
Lawsuit: YouTube Stopped Hiring White and Asian Males to Improve Diversity

A former YouTube employee has filed a civil lawsuit against the company saying that it is not hiring white or Asian men so it can reach diversity quotas, The Wall Street Journal reported. The lawsuit claims YouTube recruiters past year were told not to interview applicants who weren't black, female, or Hispanic, and to "purge entirely" applications from potential employees who didn't fit those categories.

That recruiter, Arne Wilberg, is suing Google's sister company, claiming that he was explicitly told not to hire white and Asian men. The lawsuit, filed in January in California's San Mateo County Superior Court, claims Wilberg was sacked by Google in retaliation for complaining to human resources about the company's hiring practices, the news agency reported.

A Google spokeswoman reportedly said the company will vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit. He has now filed a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination.

Wilberg claims that he made multiple complaints to managers about YouTube's hiring process and escalated these complaints to superiors at Google before being fired last November.

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".

In his lawsuit, Wilberg said that Youtube set diversity quotas, and he was told to ignore applicants who were not female or from underrepresented racial groups (black and Latino).

In 2017 69 percent of Google's employees were men and the percentage of Google's workforce that is white of Asian has been 91 percent since 2014.

Arne Wilberg worked at Google and YouTube as a recruiter, contractor, and full-time employee for almost a decade.

Wilberg's lawsuit targets Google and 25 unnamed Google employees who allegedly enforced discriminatory hiring rules, quoting a number of emails and other documents.

Wilberg also alleges some of his former co-workers were uncomfortable with one of Google's hiring initiatives, "Project Mirror", which required current employees to interview job candidates of the same race and sex. However, the Journal cites anonymous sources that corroborate some of Wilberg's claims.

It is not the first time the company is criticized over its diversity practices.

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