The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shadeSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google is reportedly under investigation for mistreatment of Black female workers.
  • Multiple complaints were reportedly filed alleging discrimination and harassment.
  • According to its last diversity report, Google has had trouble retaining its Black female employees.

Google hasn't had the best relationship with its Black female employees, and the latest report shows that the company still has more work to do.

According to a report from Reuters, California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is investigating Google following multiple complaints of mistreatment by Black female workers. These complaints allege harassment and discrimination from within the company.

Sources told Reuters that DFEH had interviewed several Black women working at Google's parent company, Alphabet. The investigation allegedly involves employees who haven't filed complaints to gain insight into their experiences with the company and uncover any additional examples.

The DFEH declined to comment, but a Google spokesperson provided a statement, saying that it is focused on building its relationship with Black employees.

Our goal is to ensure that every employee experiences Google as an inclusive workplace and we've been focused on building sustainable equity for Google's Black community. For example, 2020 was our largest year ever for hiring Black+ Googlers in the U.S.—both overall and in tech roles—and we've also made investments in our retention programs and practices to help Black employees grow and thrive at Google.

We'll continue to focus on this important work and thoroughly investigate any concerns, to make sure our workplace is representative and equitable.

It's no secret that Google has had trouble building and maintaining its Black workforce, particularly its Black female employees. In the company's most recent diversity report, Google highlights growth in new Black hires and Black female representation in leadership roles. However, retention rates for Black female workers remain among the lowest in the company.

This was conflated by the very public spat Google had following the firing of AI Ethics researcher Timnit Gebru, who challenged Google's use of AI and its affects on minority groups. Her departure also highlighted Google's lack of diversity and its treatment of Black employees within the company.