Technology

YouTube sued for limiting white, Asian male hires for diversity purposes

YouTube sued for limiting white, Asian male hires for diversity purposes”

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. The lawsuit was filed in a California court by Arne Wilberg, who worked at Google and YouTube for about nine years. Wilberg claims that Google implemented "clear and irrefutable policies" meant to exclude white and Asian men in an attempt to increase the company's overall diversity.

A Google spokeswoman said the company will vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit. Last week, Tim Chevalier, a former engineer, sued Google for wrongful termination over pro-diversity comments he made criticizing white privilege.

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.

The latest lawsuit alleges that Google asked Wilberg and his co-workers repeatedly to dismiss or approve job candidates only because they were White, Asian, female, Black or Hispanic.

The hiring practices challenged in the lawsuit fall into a controversial area of labor law, where setting goals to diversify is acceptable, but setting quotas is not. In addition, the management reportedly deleted the e-mails and other documents detailing diversity policies when hiring.

Wilberg's lawsuit alleges that Google investigated hiring practices at YouTube and, sometime in mid-2017 told staff to stop tracking the hiring of minorities.

It is important to note that as of 2017, 69% of Google's total workforce was male, a slight decrease from 70% in 2014. In one quarter, for example, recruiters were expected to hire five new employees each, and those hires had to be diversity candidates, the lawsuit claims.

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.

The lawsuit suggests that some of Google's efforts were clumsy, and may have been counterproductive. They then mentioned that Google's racial and gender preferences in hiring were not up for debate, because this was morally and economically the best thing to do for Google.



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