In a lawsuit filed by Arne Wilberg, a white male who was employed by Google for nine years and worked as a YouTube recruiter for four, he claims that recruiters were told to focus on interviews with female, Black, or Hispanic applicants, and to “purge entirely” the applications of those who weren’t.
The lawsuit was filed in January in California’s San Mateo County Superior Court and alleges that Wilberg was fired after he complained multiple times about the hiring practices. Another former Google employee, James Damore, filed a similar lawsuit earlier this year, alleging that the company discriminates against conservative white men. In Damore’s widely circulated “Google memo,” he claimed women weren’t as suited to be engineers as men. A 2017 class-action lawsuit filed by three former employees alleged Google discriminated against women. A lawsuit filed last month by a former Google engineer claims that the company’s “bro culture” contributes to a toxic environment where women are regularly subjected to sexual harassment.
Wilberg’s lawsuit alleges that since 2016, YouTube recruiters were instructed to hit hiring quotas for “diversity candidates,” and in the first quarter of 2016 were tasked with hiring five new employees each from underrepresented groups. The lawsuit also alleges that in 2017, YouTuber recruiters were told to stop making hires based on diversity. An investigation into YouTube hiring practices was reportedly launched in early 2016, by Google human resources.
A Google spokesperson claimed they will “vigorously defend” the lawsuit: “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.”