A Black product manager at Google says he was riding his bike around the tech giant’s campus when he was approached by security. According to Angel Onuoha’s Sept. 20 tweet, someone there apparently didn’t believe he was an employee. In a Sept. 22 tweet following up on the incident, Onuoha said his badge was taken away from him after he was forced to miss his bus home sorting out the situation.
He wrote, “A lot of people keep DM’ing me asking for the full story…They ended up taking my ID badge away from me later that day and I was told to call security if I had a problem with it. And that was after holding me up for 30 minutes causing me to miss my bus ride home.”
This incident was reported by Forbes, who reached out to Onuoha and Google for comment.
Here is what the spokesperson from the tech firm said to Forbes.
“We take this employee’s concerns very seriously, are in touch with him and are looking into this. We learned that the employee was having issues with his badge due to an administrative error and contacted the reception team for help. After they were unable to resolve the issue, the security team was called to look into and help resolve the issue,” a Google spokesperson tells me. “More broadly, one step we’ve taken recently to decrease badging incidents is to make clear that employees should leave investigating these kinds of access concerns to our security team. Our goal is to ensure that every employee experiences Google as an inclusive workplace and that we create a stronger sense of belonging for all employees.”
Google has been criticized for its diversity challenges in the past. In 2018, The Root reported on the company’s struggles to keep Black talent. In December of last year, a Black woman said she was fired from the tech giant after speaking out against racism. Later that month, another Black woman took to Twitter to announce her firing from the company. April Christina Curley outlined how racist Google’s hiring practices were and said her efforts to recruit Black talent from HBCUs were often met with resistance.
“The reason Google never hired an HBCU student straight out of undergrad into one of their key engineering roles is because they didn’t believe talent existed at these institutions—until I showed up,” Curley wrote in one tweet.