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Lawsuit alleges YouTube hiring practices discriminated against white and Asian men

04 March 2018

YouTube has come under fire for the lengths it goes to for diversity, facing a civil lawsuit alleging they stopped hiring white or Asian men for technical positions in 2017. The lawsuit claims YouTube recruiters a year ago 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.

Wilberg-who worked at Google for nine years, including four years as a recruiter at YouTube-filed his lawsuit in January after he was sacked last November in what he claims was retaliation for his complaints about the hiring policies.

In his lawsuit, Wilberg, 40, also claims Google discriminated against him personally, firing him in November 2017 for his race and sex as a result of his complaints over the company's policies.

"We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity", Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano told Bloomberg.

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A former YouTube employee has sued Google for allegedly pressuring recruiters to only look for female, black, and Hispanic or Latinx applicants.

After Damore was terminated, he and another white engineer filed a discrimination lawsuit against his former employer.

Wilberg has alleged that in 2016 and 2017, he and his fellow recruiters were told on several occasions to approve or dismiss job candidates based exclusively on whether they were women, black or Latino.

Damore, however, is still seeking to prove that Google discriminates against White conservative men with a class action lawsuit.

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Google has been training its employees how to recognize unconscious bias, but Damore's memo is proof that diversity is not always seen as part of Google's cultural values. The suit claims that one Google recruiter complained that managers spoke about black people as if they were objects. In the meantime, Google has to walk a narrow line: How can the company signal the urgency of being inclusive without setting targets? This time, the plaintiff is a recruiter - someone who was actually responsible for carrying out Google's diversity initiatives, and who found them discriminatory.

The lawsuit has been filed in state court in Redwood City, California, and the case is Wilberg v. Google 18-CIV-00442, California Superior Court, San Mateo County (Redwood City).

Shemla's analysis found that there is often a mismatch between an organization's diversity policy and the company's goals or between the policy and the way it is implemented.

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Lawsuit alleges YouTube hiring practices discriminated against white and Asian men