Former employee, April Curley, is suing Google, claiming the company systematically discriminates against their Black employees. According to a Reuters report, the lawsuit claims the employees are often steered toward lower-level positions, they are paid less and denied opportunities to climb the company ladder.
The complaint states Black workers make up only 4.4 percent of employees and 3 percent of leadership, fostering a “racially biased corporate culture.” California’s civil rights regulator had previously investigated Google’s treatment of Black women workers through The Department of Fair Employment and Housing, per Reuters.
The plaintiff, April Curley, also said the Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) unit subjected Blacks to a hostile work environment, including by often requiring they show identification or be questioned by security at its Mountain View, California campus.
Curley said Google hired her in 2014 to design an outreach program to historically Black colleges.
She said her hiring proved to be a “marketing ploy,” as supervisors began denigrating her work, stereotyping her as an “angry” Black woman and passing her over for promotions.
Curley was reported to be fired in September of 2020 after her and her coworkers compiled a list of reforms, per Reuters. She wasn’t the first to claim to be retaliated against. Per a previous Reuters report, artificial intelligence researcher Timnit Gebru said she was fired by Google for speaking out on its lack of diversity in the workforce.
This is interesting. Google was a company that responded to the “racial reckoning” in 2020 by hiring more Black folks, per Reuters. But does that guarantee they’d be treated equally in the office, though?
Curley is being represented by the civil rights attorney who represented George Floyd’s family, Ben Crump. Curley’s suit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for current and former Black Google employees, reported Reuters. The suit also seeks to restore the others who were fired back to their positions.
“While Google claims that they were looking to increase diversity, they were actually undervaluing, underpaying and mistreating their Black employees,” said Ben Crump in a statement via Reuters.