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

Kelley Robertson
March 3, 2018

The critics of Google's effort to promote workforce diversity now include one of its own former recruiters, who claims in a lawsuit he was sacked because he didn't toe the line on rejecting white and Asian male job candidates.

In the lawsuit, Wilberg said Google has "irrefutable policies, memorialised in writing and consistently implemented in practice, of systematically discriminating in favour [of] job applicants who are Hispanic, African-American, or female, and against Caucasian and Asian men".

Wilberg-who worked at Google for nine years, including four years as a recruiter at YouTube-filed his lawsuit in January after he was sacked last November in what he claims was retaliation for his complaints about the hiring policies.

Google said it would defend itself.

Last month, Tim Chevalier, an ex-software developer at Google, also filed a lawsuit claiming that the company fired him over pro-diversity posts circulated internally. The former staffer said Google - YouTube's parent company - invoked "clear and irrefutable policies" meant to exclude white and Asian men in hopes of increasing the brand's diversity last spring.


Arne Wilberg worked at Google for almost a decade. Black and Hispanic engineers, the racial groups Wilberg claims were unfairly favored by YouTube, together account for only 4 percent of Google's technical workforce. But past year, Wilberg claims YouTube recruiters were told to cancel interviews where the candidate wasn't female, black or Hispanic.

What's more, Wilberg pointed to an email from YouTube staffing manager Allison Alogna which read: "Hi Team: Please continue with L3 candidates in process and only accept new L3 candidates that are from historically underrepresented groups".

Wilberg also claims that Google "policy documents" directed the firm's YouTube recruiters to hire only "diverse" people for the third quarter of 2017.

Wilberg apparently refused to comply with his boss's instructions to "purge" applications by non-diverse candidates. Ever since, it has faced mounting pressure to improve diversity at workplace, and leave Asian and White male candidates behind. Wilberg called the hiring practices "illegal and discriminatory". However, the Journal cites anonymous sources that corroborate some of Wilberg's claims.

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