A former employee filed a complaint against Google on Friday March 18. She accuses the technological giant of racial discrimination, believing in particular to have been underpaid and removed from certain promotions because of her skin color.
April Curley was hired by Google in 2014 to develop recruitment programs for black American students. However, she claims to have been marginalized and discriminated against by her former employer, who allegedly used her as a “marketing stunt”.
In a document filed in federal court in San Jose, California, its lawyers claim that Google “is involved in recurring practices of racial discrimination against its black and African-American employees”.
Black staff ‘abused’ by Google
April Curley would have been the victim of the stereotypes usually associated with black women in the United States (the cliché of the “angry black woman”, that is to say the “aggressive black woman”).
One of her superiors, white, would have described her as “intimidating”, “hostile” and “angry”. She also reportedly refused to give him pay raises or promotions.
I’m finna tell yall why @Google fired me- their MOST successful diversity recruiter in the history of their company- with the receipts to support that statement.
—Real Abril (@RealAbril) December 21, 2020
April Curley was fired from Google in September 2020, a dismissal she considers illegal and consequent to “her efforts to expose discriminatory practices within the company”.
“She was an exceptional employee at Google,” responded Ben Crump, one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, known for having defended many black victims of police violence.
“She was hired into a position well below her skills and was unfairly passed over for promotions repeatedly. The reality is that Google undervalues, underpays and mistreats its black employees, which leads to high employee turnover,” he said.
The complainant asserts that her case is not isolated. According to her, Google would even practice discrimination on a very large scale.
To support his remarks, the lawyers note that only 4.4% of Google employees define themselves as black (9.1% nationally for companies in the same sector). Management positions are occupied by only 3% of black employees.
A class action lawsuit has been filed by Ms Curley’s lawyers. According to them, other black employees of Google have suffered similar discrimination and must be compensated.
An investigation into Google’s treatment of its black employees has also been opened, by a California civil rights enforcement agency. The company, however, did not wish to react for the moment.