The Google diversity hiring wars rage on.
"In response to Wilberg's complaints and warnings Google would occasionally circulate e-mails instructing its employees (to) purge any and all references to the race/gender quotas from its e-mail database ... to wipe out any paper trail of Google's illegal practices", according to his lawsuit.
The civil complaint explains how, in his job, Wilberg was tasked with helping to select engineering and tech talent for YouTube and Google.
That recruiter, Arne Wilberg, is suing Google's sister company, claiming that he was explicitly told not to hire white and Asian men. He says they were told to favor applicants from underrepresented groups within the company. California labor law prohibits refusing to hire employees based on characteristics like race or gender. When Wilberg did not adhere to those rules, his performance reviews suffered, he alleges. Wilberg was sacked in November 2017.
Meir Shemla, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Rotterdam School of Management, who recently co-authored a paper analyzing almost two decades of diversity policies, says the lawsuit is an example of a "deep misunderstanding of how to reap the benefits of diversity", which requires creating a psychologically safe environment where people can share conflicting ideas. One person allegedly "complained that managers were speaking about blacks like they were objects".
Google has denied the company implemented discriminatory policies toward Caucasian and Asian men. 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". 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.
After Damore was terminated, he and another white engineer filed a discrimination lawsuit against his former employer. In the meantime, Google has to walk a narrow line: How can the company signal the urgency of being inclusive without setting targets?
Google fired him for complaining about the company's hiring, though he was "an exemplary employee", according to the lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court.
Google has faced criticism over its diversity practices from both sides: those who say it's not doing enough to include women and underrepresented racial minorities, and those who assert that its efforts go too far. He claimed Google's top brass discriminated against conservative men.