That's the question at the center of a new lawsuit filed by Arne Wilberg, a former YouTube recruiter who alleges the video site showed unlawful favoritism toward Black, Hispanic, and female candidates in its hiring decisions. The lawsuit, filed in January in California's San Mateo County Superior Court, claims Wilberg was sacked by Google in retaliation for complaining to human resources about the company's hiring practices, the news agency reported.
Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano said the company plans to vigorously defend this lawsuit. Last week, Tim Chevalier, a former engineer, sued Google for wrongful termination over pro-diversity comments he made criticizing white privilege.
Mr Wilberg argues he was discriminated against because he was a white man and the company fired him when he complained, violating anti-discrimination laws.
The lawsuit included a screenshot of a "weekly recap" document, outlining the company's recent hires, their ethnic background, and where the team fell short of meeting its diversity goals. Many have adopted policies and programs created to encourage more balanced hiring, not only to right past discrimination but for their own economic advantage: According to management consultancy McKinsey, diverse companies deliver better financial results.
In his lawsuit, Wilberg said that Youtube set diversity quotas, and he was told to ignore applicants who were not female or from underrepresented racial groups (black and Latino).
Wilberg's suit, filed January 29, states that he worked for seven years at Google, including time on the team for tech staffing at YouTube, the company's video-streaming unit.
In 2017 69 percent of Google's employees were men and the percentage of Google's workforce that is white of Asian has been 91 percent since 2014. The lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court notes that the management used to delete the emails among other records that talked of the diversity requirements.
Google, which has since rejected the charge, defended its efforts in creating a diverse workforce.
Arne Wilberg worked at Google for almost a decade. For example, in the first quarter of 2016, recruiters were expected to hire five new employees each, all of them from underrepresented groups, the lawsuit alleges. In one case, the suit claims, hiring managers pressured Wilberg to make an applicant over 40 apply for a position he wasn't qualified for so the job seeker would fail to gain employment at Google.