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Google Faces Yet Another Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

March 31st, 2022 Allison Frison

racial discrimination in Google and in New York, NY

Earlier this month, a former Google employee filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the tech giant. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court by April Curley. Curley worked for Google from 2014 to 2020, when she was terminated. During her time with the company, Curley facilitated programs that recruited employees from historically Black colleges and universities. 

Throughout her years of employment, Curley claims to have experienced an extremely hostile work environment. She stated that she was routinely mistaken for two other Black female employees. According to a recent New York Times article, “She said that she and those colleagues had not been permitted to speak or present during important meetings and that she had felt demeaned and sexualized when a manager asked which colleagues she wanted to sleep with.” When she spoke up in meetings or challenged Google policies, Curley claims she was “reprimanded” and her pay was reduced as a result. She was placed on a performance review plan and later terminated in September 2020. 

Racial Discrimination at Google

This is not the first time Google has fallen under fire for racism within the company. As stated in the lawsuit, “Google is engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of intentional race discrimination and retaliation and maintains employment policies and practices that have a disparate impact against Black employees throughout the United States.” Despite being a rapidly growing company, Google has failed in many ways to increase diversity within its workforce. According to Google’s 2021 diversity report, “Black+” employees make up 4.4 percent of Google’s U.S. employees. “Black+” includes those who identify as more than one race, one of which is Black. This percentage is well below the national average at the time, which was 9.1 percent for digital publishing and search companies. 

Additionally, as explained by the New York Times article, “The lawsuit said Google systematically hired Black employees at a lower job status than was appropriate for their experience. Since pay is tied to job levels, this allowed the company to underpay Black employees relative to their peers.” The complaint states that Black employees were often placed in lower paying positions because they were not “Googly” enough. According to the lawsuit, this is an arbitrary term that contributed to racial discrimination at the company. The complaint alleges that another contributing factor is the “hazing” that Black candidates endure during the hiring process, during which they are internationally asked more difficult questions. 

Other Incidents of Racism at Google and in Tech

Throughout the years, many Black employees have voiced their complaints about their experiences with racism at Google. Earlier this year, reports were released indicating that Google was being investigated by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for alleged harassment and discrimination against Black female workers. Last year, Google paid $3.8 million to settle a gender and racial discrimination lawsuit. These are just a few examples of the many incidents of racial discrimination at Google and in the tech industry at large. 

Seek Legal Assistance Today 

If you are experiencing racial discrimination in the workplace, seek legal assistance from the Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City and Livingston, NJ. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.