A former Google recruiter has claimed in a new lawsuit that he was fired for refusing to adhere to the company's "diversity" policy of rejecting White and Asian male job candidates. Arne Wilberg, who worked at Google and its YouTube unit for nearly a decade as both a contractor and an employee, claims his termination was in retaliation after he complained to the human resources department over the company's hiring practices.
"Google used Weekly Recaps to track the number of hires who were "Female," "Black", and "LatinX." according to Wilberg's complaint (see below). "One team member complained that managers were speaking about Blacks like they were objects," the complaint adds.
For the first quarter of 2017, Google's "Weekly Recap" reflected that Google had hired 14 females (with a goal of 82), 1 Black (with a goal of 21) and 5 latinX (with a gold of 13).
Google would carefully track the race and gender of each applicant for a position in its technology workforce and use these characteristics to choose which of the candidates and applicants for technology positions to make offers of employment, and which candidates and applicants to reject.
In his lawsuit filed in state court in Redwood City, California, Wilberg says that management also deleted emails and other digital records detailing the company's diversity requirements.
Google on occasion would circulate e-mails instructing its employees to purge any and all references to the race/gender quotas from its e-mail database.
Google says it will vigorously defend itself against the claims:
“We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity,” said Google Senior manager of Corporate Communications, Gina Scigliano in an email. “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.”
Wilberg says that in 2016 and 2017, he and fellow recruiters were ordered to approve or dismiss job candidates based solely on whether they were women, black or Latino. Last March, a YouTube staffing manager told the recruiters "Please continue with L3 [level three] candidates in process and only accept new L3 candidates that are from historically underrepresented groups," and in another email said "We should only consider L3s from our underrepresented groups."
Meanwhile, the lesson for today: virtue - and diversity - signalling.