Silicon Valley companies often face criticism for the lack of diversity in their workforces, but one former YouTube employee says Google fired him for complaining about its hiring policies, which allegedly discriminated against white, Asian, and male candidates. He has now filed a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination.
According to Bloomberg, Arne Wilberg worked at Google for nine years as both an employee and contractor. He spent seven of these years as a recruiter for YouTube, where he selected engineering and tech worker candidates.
The lawsuit, filed in January in California's San Mateo County Superior Court, alleges that Wilberg took his concerns about the company’s hiring practices to human resources; a decision that led to his termination in November 2017.
According to the suit, Wilberg’s manager, Allison Alogna, told staff to cancel interviews with Level 3 software engineers (those with 0-5 years’ experience) if they were not female, black, or Hispanic. It’s also alleged that management deleted emails and other digital records of diversity requirements last year. Wilberg called the hiring practices “illegal and discriminatory.”
Google said that it intends to“vigorously defend this lawsuit.”
"We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity," the company said in a statement. "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 company said, in a statement.
Wilberg’s suit was filed in the same month that another fired Google worker, James Damore, sued the company for allegedly discriminating against conservative white men, who he claims are “ostracized, belittled, and punished.” Damore was fired last August for writing a 10-page manifesto titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”