YouTube sued for limiting white, Asian male hires for diversity purposes

Cyclist rides past Google sign

Cyclist rides past Google sign

Arne Wilberg, who worked at Google and its YouTube unit for about nine years both as a contractor and an employee, claims he was terminated in retaliation for complaining to human resources about the company's hiring practices. Each of these new employees allegedly must have been from an underrepresented group, and recruiters used what was known as a "diversity tracker" to keep a count of the number of minorities hired. After writing a memo critical of Google's hiring practices, Damore was sacked and accused of misogyny for suggesting biological differences between men and women might explain, in part, why Google engineers are overwhelmingly male.

"YouTube a year ago stopped hiring White and Asian males for technical positions because they didn't help the world's largest video site achieve its goals for improving diversity, according to a civil lawsuit filed by a former employee", The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. In addition, the management reportedly deleted the e-mails and other documents detailing diversity policies when hiring. The suit claims that one Google recruiter complained that managers spoke about black people as if they were objects.

"We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity", she said in an emailed statement.

"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.

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The hiring practices challenged in the lawsuit fall into a controversial area of labor law, where setting goals to diversify is acceptable, but setting quotas is not. Miley tweeted. "Save me the dogwhistle lawsuits and fake indignation".

The lawsuit also claimed that Google "discriminated against employees for their perceived conservative political views", as well as their "Caucasian race" and "male gender". Former Google employee James Damore had earlier claimed that he was sacked for writing an anti-diversity memo which caused controversy.

It is not the first time the company is criticized over its diversity practices. In a way, Google even popularized the idea of transparency around diversity numbers as a defensive tactic against claims about systemic inequality.

Wilberg's lawsuit targets Youtube, Google, and 25 Google employees.

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