In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Google Sued for Hiring Diverse Workforce

For Google, getting sued for diverse hiring practices was probably one of the last things the internet giant expected. After all, it's one of those progressive tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Unfortunately for Google, the company's hiring practices may be put to the test via litigation. The company may even have to go so far as to prove that it does not discriminate against white and Asian males when promoting the hiring of a diverse workforce. The latest case against it has some damning facts.

What's This Case About?

While the law has long since recognized that race discrimination is wrong regardless of whom is being discriminated against, certain claims sometimes just seem outlandish. For example, consider the case of Google firing James Damore for his controversial anti-diversity memo.

However, the newest lawsuit against Google, filed by Arne Wilberg, a former recruiter for YouTube, asserts that he was fired after complaining about hiring practices that he believed discriminated against white and Asian men. Wilberg alleges that Google set quotas for hiring minorities. He also alleges that management deleted important hiring records.

Diverse to a Fault

It can often feel like a huge catch-22 for some employers: How are they supposed to not discriminate without discriminating? Isn't choosing a diverse candidate discriminating against the non-diverse candidates, or vice-versa?

The answer to all of this is always a resounding "it depends." It is only actually discrimination if race, or another protected characteristic, played a factor in the decision. But in reality, diversity policies do not just magically create a diverse workforce and prevent the protected characteristics from being put into consideration. Notably though, according to HBR, just having diversity policies could prevent litigation. Unfortunately for Google, the type of litigation these policies were designed to prevent wasn't the only threat.

Related Resources: