Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said that Google systematically puts Black employees into positions with few opportunities for advancement.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has said that more people are coming forward to support a class action against Google, which accuses the company of marginalizing Black employees and depriving them of the same opportunities for pay and promotion afforded to other workers.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Crump and two former employees detailed what they call a “racist culture” at Google.
“These women tried to ring the alarm, tried to raise awareness about the discriminatory and bigoted culture,” Crump said. “And Google did not retaliate against the racist culture.”
“Google,” Crump said, “retaliated against the victims of the racist culture.”
Among the lead plaintiffs is April Curley, who was hired to Google as a diversity recruiter.
In her role, Curley helped scout prospects from historically Black colleges and universities.
However, in her six years on the job, Curley said she routinely witnessed Google place Black employees into positions which offered low pay and few opportunities for advancement.
Curley herself says she hired more than 500 young, Black workers between her hiring in 2014 and termination in 2020.
However, Curley was neither promoted nor offered the opportunity to obtain a promotion.
At the press conference, Curley recounted how she was restricted to “entry level classification for six years.”
“After being blocked for promotion, Google decided that the right next step for my career was to unjustly terminate me,” Curley added. “I felt compelled to be vocal about the racist behavior, policies, and practices that are deep-seated in the programmatic layers of Google’s diversity recruitment efforts and the treatment of Black people.”
Curley claims that Google used dog-whistle terminologies to snub Black employees. Oftentimes, they were written off as not “Googly” enough.
“I began to question the White-dominant policies and practices within Google—policies that ultimately led to under-leveling and under-paying of Black talent, policies that have led to Black people letting go at higher rates than any other group,” she said.
Since Curley filed her lawsuit, other Black women have come forward with their own stories of discrimination.
“Google says core value No. 1 is to work with great people,” Crump said on Monday. “When you take the allegations of these minorities, and you look at the data, then one would conclude that apparently, Google believes great people are White people.”
“Where, with this lawsuit, we’re proclaiming to Google that Black people and Brown people are great people, too.”