Suit: Google, YouTube Had Quotas for 'Diversity Candidates'

Arne Wilberg says recruiters were discouraged from working to hire white, Asian men
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2018 2:41 PM CST
Suit: Google, YouTube Worked Against Hiring White, Asian Men
This July 19, 2016, file photo shows the Google logo at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

A former YouTube employee is suing parent company Google, for which he worked for a total of nine years, alleging that he was fired for refusing to adhere to hiring practices that discriminated against white and Asian males. Per the Wall Street Journal, Arne Wilberg served as a Google recruiter for seven years (four of those years for YouTube directly), during which time he says the company implemented hiring quotas for minorities, or what the company called "diversity candidates." In his complaint, which was filed at the end of January in San Mateo, Calif., Wilberg says he and other recruiters had to nix interviews if the applicants weren't black, female, or Hispanic, and that applications that didn't fall under those demographics were to be "[purged] entirely."

In his suit, Wilberg says when he started to resist such hiring efforts, his previously high performance marks started to slip, per Ars Technica; he was fired in November. Employment lawyers explain to the Journal that while it's permissible for companies to try to boost diversity in its ranks, they can't hire based on race or gender, meaning quotas are off-limits. Wilberg also alleges that over the past two years, YouTube started trying to cover up its diversity hiring practices. The paper notes that 69% of Google's employees are men, while 91% of the company's workforce is white or Asian—a number that's stayed relatively the same for the past three years. In a statement, Google pushes back, saying that although "we unapologetically try to find a diverse pool of qualified candidates for open roles … we have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity." (More YouTube stories.)

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