A complaint filed on Friday accuses Google of racial discrimination against Black employees, alleging that the search engine giant pushes them to lower-level jobs, pays them less, and denies them advancement prospects because of their skin.
According to a complaint seeking class-action status, Google has a “racial bias corporate culture” that favors white men, with Black individuals accounting for only 4.4% and around 3% of leadership and technology.
According to Reuters, April Curley, the plaintiff, also claimed that the Alphabet Inc. (Google) division created a hostile work environment for Black employees by frequently requesting them to present identification or be questioned by security at its Mountain View, California headquarters.
Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The complaint was filed in the federal court in San Jose, California.
It came after the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the state’s civil rights regulator, began looking into Google’s treatment of Black female employees and suspected employment discrimination.
Google hired Curley in 2014 to build an outreach program for historically Black colleges, according to Curley.
Supervisors began criticizing her work, categorizing her as an “angry” Black woman, and passed her up for promotions, she claimed, proving her hiring to be a “marketing ploy.”
Curley claimed she was fired by Google in September 2020 after she and her coworkers started working on a list of needed revisions.
“While Google claims that they were looking to increase diversity, they were actually undervaluing, underpaying and mistreating their Black employees,” Curley’s lawyer Ben Crump said in a statement.
Crump is a civil rights attorney who also represented George Floyd’s family when he was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020.
Curley’s lawsuit attempts to recoup compensatory and punitive damages, as well as lost wages, for present and former Black Google employees, as well as to reinstate them to their proper positions and seniority.