Google‘s treatment of black female employees is the subject of a new open investigation against the company in the United States. As Reuters reported on Friday, California’s civil rights regulator was sued after allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination.
Documents seen by the news agency indicate that representatives of the California Department of Employment and Fair Housing (DFEH) interviewed employees of Alphabet, the parent of Google, who filed the formal complaints. They were asked about their experiences, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Other employees who work at the same big tech unit in California were also interviewed, although they were not part of the complaints. Analysts and lawyers for the regulator were looking for more examples of situations that represented possible cases of harassment such as those reported.
These investigations would have started in November, but the DFEH did not provide further details regarding the progress. The search giant said it was focused on “building sustainable equity” for all black workers, taking steps to ensure an increasingly inclusive environment.
Discrimination in the technology industry
Just over a year ago, computer scientist Timnit Gebru was fired from Google after accusing the company of racism and censorship, while the Mountain View company denied the allegations. At the time, the researcher stated that “institutional racism” is not limited to her former employer.
In an interview with the BBC, Gebru stated that the technology industry is “institutionally racist”. An example of this would be the distrust of black workers in the sector, often questioned by security guards and colleagues if they were really employees of the companies where they were.
The DEFH is currently working on similar investigations against companies Tencent, Riot Games and Activision Blizzard, looking into allegations of harassment and widespread discrimination.