Wilberg said that in 2016 and 2017, he and his fellow recruiters were told on several occasions to approve or dismiss job candidates based exclusively on whether they were women, black or Latino.
Google is YouTube's parent company.
The lawsuit slapped on Google also targets 25 unnamed Google employees who allegedly enforced discriminatory hiring rules, quoting a number of emails and other documents.
Google, in seeking to improve its workforce diversity, imposed illegal hiring quotas favoring women, blacks and Latinos and discriminating against white and Asian men, a former employee claims in a lawsuit.
All of this might come as a shock to anyone who hasn't been paying attention to the firing of Google engineer James Damore a year ago.
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"We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity", a representative from Google told the Journal in a statement.
Wilberg claims that his manager sent the team an email that stated, "please continue with L3 candidates in process and only accept new L3 candidates that are from historically underrepresented groups". Wilberg also alleges that over the past two years, YouTube started trying to cover up its diversity hiring practices.
The lawsuit describes several instances in which Wilberg says he raised concerns with supervisors and human resources executives only to allegedly be retaliated against. Both federal and California anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from making hiring decisions based on race or gender.
"We will vigorously defend this lawsuit", a Google spokesperson told TheWrap. Damore was subsequently fired by Google. The conflagration briefly engulfed Google's own offices, turning the workspace into a polarized war zone. The company is now facing a Federal complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board in April for interfering with employees' legal right to discuss "workplace diversity and social justice initiatives.' The complaint alleges that Senior Vice President Urs Holzle and numerous managers in his organization actively stoked up witch hunts in 2015 and 2016 meant to muzzle low-level employees who raised concerns about the company's practices". Wilberg claims he and other recruiting team members were made to feel "completely uncomfortable and psychologically unsafe" reporting to their boss, a champion of the diversity policies.
In response to the lawsuit, Leslie Miley, a former engineering director at Slack and former engineering manager at Twitter, tweeted about the irony of Wilberg's concern for fair labor practices, which did not seem to apply to Google's largely homogenous workforce or its gender pay gap, the subject of a Department of Labor investigation as well as a civil suit. In a way, Google even popularized the idea of transparency around diversity numbers as a defensive tactic against claims about systemic inequality.