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Lawsuit Slams Oracle for Allegedly Discriminatory Hiring Policies

— July 7, 2020

The lawsuit demands that Oracle executives resign and turn over their positions to ethnic minorities.

A lawsuit has accused Oracle of hiring discrimination so rampant that African Americans need not bother applying for corporate positions.

“A sign advertising applicants [that] ‘Blacks Need Not Apply’ might as well hang at the entrance to the company’s headquarters,” states the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by Oracle shareholder R. Andre Klein.

Klein, says The Silicon Valley Business Journal, accuses Oracle of failing to meet its own diversity pledge, and goes so far as to suggest that the company’s top brass have turned a blind eye to obvious problems within the corporation’s culture.

“Oracle has no real commitment to diversity and its board is turning a blind eye to the company’s miserable failure to ensure the ‘diversity’ trumpeted by the directors in Oracle’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and its annual reports to shareholders,” the lawsuit says, naming as defendants Oracle, Chairman Larry Ellison, and CEO Safra Catz, as well as other Oracle board members, managers, and employees “who were involved in the wrongdoing detailed herein.”

Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison. The lawsuit asks that Ellison, along with other Oracle board members, resign and turn over their positions to minorities. Image via Flickr/user:Oracle PR. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Klein, says the Business Journal, noted that Oracle’s 14-member executive board only has one minority representative; there are no black executives.

“Oracle’s board, which has no Black individuals, has consciously failed to carry out Oracle’s written proclamations about increasing diversity in tis ranks,” the suit alleges. “Oracle’s board today in 2020 has no African-Americans and no Latinos, and no Asian-American or other minority representatives aside from Vishal Sikka. The company’s executive ranks also lack a single Black person.”

The lawsuit is lent credence by prior federal investigations. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor sued Oracle for pay discrepancies, having found the company paid White men more than Black, Asian, and women employees working the same roles.

Somewhat paradoxically, the Labor Department found that Oracle appears to prefer Asian-origin applicants in hiring. But such employees are still paid considerably less than their white counterparts.

Reveal news similarly found that 90% of Oracle’s workforce is either white or Asian. The company’s stilted ethnic composition led the U.S. House Tech Accountability Caucus to reprimand Oracle, saying, “The fact that African Americans make up 13% and Asian Americans make up 5.6% of the U.S. population but 0% of Oracle’s board and leadership is inexcusable.”

The Mercury News reports that the lawsuit alleges that prejudicial leadership and discriminatory hiring policies have wrought “severe financial and reputational damage” to Oracle.

The lawsuit demands that Oracle’s three directors, including Larry Ellison, resign from the company, to be replaced by an all-minority board. It also asks that the directors donate the entirety of their 2020 compensation to “an acceptable charity or organization whose efforts include the advancement of Black people and minorities in corporate America.”


‘Blacks Need Not Apply’ sign would be appropriate for Oracle HQ, lawsuit claims

Shareholder sues Oracle, saying it has ‘no real commitment to diversity’

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