Large tech companies like Google typically rank high on lists of businesses with the best benefits and workplace perks. However, positive offerings do not mean that these companies are immune from issues involving workplace misconduct.
For instance, a woman recently filed a lawsuit against Google claiming systemic bias against Black employees based on a long list of discriminatory practices at the company.
Hostile work environments, toxic corporate culture
According to the complaint, the woman says that she experienced or witnessed several discriminatory practices and actions against Black employees in the more than five years she worked for Google. According to the woman, Google allegedly:
- Disproportionately asked Black employees to show identification or had security question Black employees on its campus
- Stereotyped her as “angry”
- Underpaid Black employees
- Passed her over for promotions unfairly
- Steered Black workers toward lower-paying positions
The lawsuit also claims that Black individuals only make up 4 percent of Google’s workforce and 3 percent of its leadership. The complaint argues that these numbers illustrate the bias against Black employees and highlight the degree to which Google favors hiring and promoting white males.
These accusations paint a picture of a hostile work environment and toxic culture that violates workers’ rights to protection from racial discrimination.
The goal of discrimination claims
Legal claims can be powerful tools for employees to stand up for themselves and protect their rights, which can be very difficult – especially when the employer is a massive corporation like Google.
Filing a lawsuit can also help employees recover financial losses they have experienced as a result of discrimination. These losses include back pay, future pay, lost benefits and punitive and compensatory damages.
Finally, discrimination claims can publicize illegal, unfair behaviors that companies often try to sweep under the rug. Calling out bad actors and holding them accountable for their policies and practices can spark changes in workplace culture and protect future employees from the same mistreatment.
Employers both large and small are bound by the law, though the laws that apply can be different for certain types of business. But whether you work at Google or a small local business, employees have the right to be protected from workplace misconduct.