It is claimed that Google offers lower-paying jobs to black workers and pays them less
A lawsuit filed Friday against black employees alleging systematic racial bias against Google said the company led them to lower-level jobs, paid them less and denied them a chance to advance because of their race.
Google maintains a “racially biased corporate culture” that favors white men, with blacks making up only 4.4% of employees and about 3% of leadership and technology employees, according to a complaint seeking class-action status.
The plaintiff, April Curley, also stated that the Alphabet Inc. unit found black employees exposed to a hostile work environment, in which they often had to be identified or interrogated through security at their Mountain View, California, campus.
Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Jose, California.
This comes after the state’s civil rights regulator, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, launched an investigation into Google’s treatment of black women employees and possible discrimination in their workplace.
Curley said Google hired her in 2014 to design a program to reach historically black colleges.
She said her appointment proved to be a “marketing ploy” as supervisors began defaming her work, stereotyping her as an “angry” black woman and sending her for promotion.
Curley said she was removed by Google in September 2020 after she and her colleagues began working on a list of desired improvements.
Curley is not the first black employee to accuse Google of discrimination or to have shared discriminatory experiences with the company. Leslie Miley, the company’s former engineering director, said he was physically stopped by co-workers as he entered the Google office twice, wearing the employee badge as required. Miley and others said they have told high-ups and officers about the problems of hiring staff to police who are and are not affiliated with the Google office.
Many blacks and Latinos still feel excluded from the technology industry altogether, thanks to both lack of access and internal support.
“Google claims that they are trying to diversify, they are actually undervaluing, low-paying and abusing their black employees,” said Carly’s lawyer, Ben Krump, in a statement.
Krump is a civil rights lawyer who represented his family in the May 2020 assassination of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Curley’s lawsuit seeks compensation and punitive damages for current and former black employees at Google and seeks to restore them to their proper positions and seniority.