A lawsuit filed on Friday accuses Google of systemic racial bias against black employees, saying the search engine company steers them to lower-level jobs, pays them less and denies them opportunities to advance because of their race.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, alleges the search engine company steers them to lower-level jobs, pays them less and denies advancement opportunities because of their race. The complaint is seeking class action-status and claims Google maintains a “racially biased corporate culture” that favors white men and where African Americans make up only 4.4 percent of employees and only 3 percent of leadership.
Additionally, April Curley, the plaintiff, also said Google subjected Black people to a hostile work environment, often requiring them to show identification or be questioned by security at its Mountain View, California campus.
Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters reports.
The lawsuit comes after California’s civil rights regulator, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, began investigating Google’s treatment of Black female workers and possible discrimination in their workplace.
Curley said Google hired her in 2014 to design an outreach program to HBCUs. That said, she said her hiring was a “marketing ploy,” as supervisors denigrated her work, stereotyped her as an “angry” Black woman and denied promotion.
In September 2020, Curley said Google fired her after she and her colleagues created a list of reforms. “While Google claims that they were looking to increase diversity, they were actually undervaluing, underpaying and mistreating their Black employees,” Ben Crump, Curley’s lawyer, said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Curley is seeking to recoup compensatory and punitive damages, lost compensation for her and current and former Black Google employees, as well as restore them to their appropriate positions and seniority.
The case is Curley v Google LLC, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-01735.