A former employee has filed a lawsuit against Big Tech giant Google alleging there is “systemic bias” against black employees.
The complaint was filed on Friday in a San Jose federal court by former employee April Curley.
According to a report from Reuters, Curley claims that “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 a complaint seeking class-action status, Google maintains a ‘racially biased corporate culture’ that favors white men, where Black people comprise only 4.4% of employees and about 3% of leadership and its technology workforce,” the report says.
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Curley also claimed that the company “subjected Blacks to a hostile work environment, including by often requiring they show identification or be questioned by security at its Mountain View, California campus.”
Curley was hired in 2014 to create an outreach program to historically Black colleges, which she claims was a “marketing ploy.” She says that supervisors treated her like an “angry black woman” and passed her up for promotions. She was fired in 2020 when she and other activists at the company began working on a list of “reforms” that they wanted the company to make.
“While Google claims that they were looking to increase diversity, they were actually undervaluing, underpaying and mistreating their Black employees,” Curley’s lawyer Ben Crump said in a statement.
Crump previously represented the family of George Floyd in their lawsuits.
“Curley’s lawsuit seeks to recoup compensatory and punitive damages and lost compensation for current and former Black employees at Google, and to restore them to their appropriate positions and seniority,” the Reuters report says.