Lawsuit: YouTube stopped hiring white and Asian males to improve corporate diversity

Wilberg claims that Google implemented "clear and irrefutable policies" meant to exclude white and Asian men in an attempt to increase the company's overall diversity. The lawsuit claims YouTube recruiters past year were told not to interview applicants who weren't black, female, or Hispanic, and to "purge entirely" applications from potential employees who didn't fit those categories.

As the The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, a lawsuit filed in January by former YouTube recruiter Arne Wilberg alleges that he was sacked for resisting what he calls illegal and discriminatory efforts to diversify Google's workforce.

"We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity", Gina Scigliano told Bloomberg in an email.

A Google spokeswoman reportedly said the company will vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit. Arne Wilberg worked at Google for 9 years, four of which were spent at YouTube as a recruiter.

He claims he "repeatedly opposed these illegal and discriminatory hiring practices by complaining to his managers and HR", telling them "it was illegal to have such hiring quotas favoring certain groups based on race and gender".

The lawsuit filed by Mr. Wilberg and people familiar with the hiring practices allege that since at least 2016, YouTube recruiters had hiring quotas or targets for "diversity candidates", including black, Hispanic and female candidates.

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It claimed the manager of YouTube's tech staffing management team, Allison Alogna, sent an email in March 2017 indicating that new level-three software engineering candidates - specifically, geeks with five years of experience or less - must be from "historically underrepresented groups".

The lawsuit also claimed that Google "discriminated against employees for their perceived conservative political views", as well as their "Caucasian race" and "male gender".

According to Wilberg, he was sacked a year ago in November after he talked about the "illegal and discriminatory hiring practices" in the company. Ever since, it has faced mounting pressure to improve diversity at workplace, and leave Asian and White male candidates behind.

In his suit, Wilberg says when he started to resist such hiring efforts, his previously high performance marks started to slip, per Ars Technica; he was sacked in November.

The Wall Street Journal, in reporting on Wilberg's lawsuit, noted that "people familiar with YouTube's and Google's hiring practices" corroborated both the hiring freeze and the use of quotas.

  • Michelle Webb