A former Black employee has filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the tech giant of racial discrimination.
April Curley was hired to recruit more Black employees for Google. Curley says she was fired after she “vocally opposed and called for reform of the barriers and double standards Google imposed on Black employees and applicants,” Fortune reported.
In the lawsuit, filed Friday in a federal court in San Jose, California, Curley accuses Google of purposely pigeon-holing Black employees into lower-paying roles after interviewers “hazed” Black candidates and asked “level-inappropriate questions” to hurt hiring prospects.
“Google’s centralized leadership, which is nearly devoid of Black representation, holds biased and stereotypical views about the abilities and potential of Black professionals,” the lawsuit states.
“Google hires few Black employees and steers those few into lower-level roles, pays them less, and denies them advancement and leadership roles because of their race.”
Curley seeks damages for discriminatory employment practices and policies. She seeks class-action status for the suit, to bring in Black current and former Google employees, according to The Mercury News.
“Black Google employees face a hostile work environment and suffer retaliation if they dare to challenge or oppose the company’s discriminatory practices,” Curley says in the lawsuit.
Google hasn’t responded to the suit, which comes after the company released its diversity report last year—just 4.4% of its U.S. workers were Black with 3% in technology. More than half of the company is white and the remaining groups are Asian, 42%, Latinx, 6.4% and Native American, 0.8%.
It’s a slight increase in diversity from the company’s 2020 report. The latest report shows Black people make up 3% of Google’s leadership positions, while two-thirds are White. Black workers also made up 9% of new hires last year, a 6% increase from 2020.
Google made a push toward diversifying the company after the murder of George Floyd.
The company became the first major technology firm to report workforce-diversity numbers. However, there is still a large amount of work the tech industry (and corporate America) has to do.