According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, a civil lawsuit by a former employee at YouTube alleges that beginning last year, the company stopped hiring white and Asian males for technical roles because they did not help the site achieve its goals for improving diversity.
The lawsuit was filed by Arne Wilberg, who worked at Google for nine years, four of which were spent at YouTube as a recruiter. He alleges that last spring, recruiters were told to cancel all interviews with candidates who were not female, black or Hispanic, and to “purge entirely” all other applicants who did not fit those groups.
Google denied the accusations, saying in a statement
“We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity…At the same time, we unapologetically try to find a diverse pool of qualified candidates for open roles, as this helps us hire the best people, improve our culture and build better products.”
According to the WSJ’s report however, others familiar with the hiring practices at Google and YouTube corroborated several of the lawsuit’s allegations.
In his lawsuit, Mr. Wilberg, who is 40-years-old, claims that in the first quarter of 2016, recruiters were each expected to hire five new employees from underrepresented groups. He brought complaints about the quotas to several managers at YouTube and then escalated the issue to managers Google, the parent company. He alleges that his complaints led to his firing in November 2017.
If his allegations prove to be true, YouTube would be running afoul of both federal and California antidiscrimination laws for making hiring decisions based on race and gender.
Mr. Wilberg’s filing to the San Mateo County Superior Court can be viewed here.