Former Black Employees Sue Google For Racial Discrimination

Google Racial Discrimination

A lawsuit filed against Google claims it has a pattern and practice of racial discrimination toward minority employees. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of April Curley and other former and current black employees at Google. 

Plaintiff to the suit, April Curley, was a Google diversity recruiter for six years. She is claiming wrongful termination because Google fired her after she told managers she was creating a report on discriminatory practices. Curley and other women were retaliated against after trying to report the racist culture they experienced in Google.

When first hired by Google, Curley was placed in an entry-level position, drastically below her qualifications of a master’s degree and five years of experience. She was also consistently passed up for promotions. Curley was restrained to this entry-level classification for six years! Google had blocked her promotion with the excuse of there being no budget for it and instead decided to wrongfully terminate Curley. 

Part of the allegations included that Google steered new Black employees toward lower-level roles that kept them at less pay and kept them from opportunities for advancement. Plaintiff claims that when black employees opposed these discriminatory practices, they were faced with a hostile work environment and retaliation.

According to Google’s 2021 annual diversity report, the company recognizes a need to change structural inequities, yet they have not done so. The suing, former employees, including April Curley, were exceptional employees at Google but were discriminatorily treated and pushed out. While Google aimed at increasing diversity, they were actually undervaluing and underpaying their black employees—leading to their higher turnover. The proposed class action seeks that employees get their positions back and be awarded the full compensation and benefits owed, and future losses.

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National Origin & Race Discrimination – Case Example

A recently handled national origin and racial discrimination case

Lisa is a young woman of Chinese descent. Lisa was subjected to harassment and discrimination at work based on her national origin and race.

Lisa’s boss would make racist comments such as “fucking Chinese people”, constantly saying that there are too many Chinese employees and saying that they needed to stop hiring Chinese people. Lisa’s employer additionally instructed Lisa not to hire certain types of people, such as “blacks.” Lisa protested and complained about the racist comments to her employer.

Instead of trying to cure the discrimination and harassment as required by law, Lisa’s employer retaliated against her and terminated her employment because she protested her boss’ discrimination and harassment.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits an employer, including any supervisor, from harassing or discriminating an employee based on national origin or race. We helped Lisa get justice for the racial harassment and retaliation she endured. We were able to get her a favorable settlement.

If you have been harasseddiscriminated, or retaliated against based on a protected category such as race or national origin, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about National Origin / Race Discrimination Law

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NFL and Teams Sued for Racial Discrimination by Brian Flores

NFL Racial Discrimination

The National Football League and three teams (The Giants, Broncos, and Dolphins) are being sued by Brian Flores, former Miami Dolphins coach, for racial discrimination in the hiring and retention of Black coaches. 

Brian Flores was recently fired after 3 successful coaching years for the Dolphins. Flores accuses teams such as the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos, of giving him token interviews to comply with the “Rooney Rule” that required interviewing black candidates for head positions. 

Flores released a text message exchange between him and current Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichik.  The messages suggest that Belichick knew the Giants had decided on another candidate (another white candidate also named Brian)—Brian Daboll—prior to interviewing Flores. 

The Giants deny the allegations and pointed out that the text was speculative and not from anyone associated with their organization.  

With this lawsuit, Flores seeks to establish a class-action on behalf of over 40 wronged Black coaches, managers, and job candidates. 

This lawsuit has reignited criticism regarding the NFL’s diversity issues particularly in the NFL’s hiring and retention efforts, with repeated efforts to tackle such issues falling short. The NFL has been criticized for the lack of Black coaches and executives, for example how they presently have only one Black head coach, although a number of jobs remain open, and puts into question the NFL’s efforts to ensure equitable employment practices and equitable opportunities.

What type of change do you think must be made to ensure equitable coaching and management opportunities in the NFL? What type of change can be made by taking this issue through the courts as Brian Flores has?

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NBA’s Atlanta Hawks Sued by Employee for Race Discrimination and Retaliation

Samuel Hayes, a former Atlanta Hawks security manager, claims that black performers and entertainers were subjected to more intense security procedures than their white counterparts. He also claims he was fired because of his race and complaints of race based preferences. Not only is he filing a suit against the NBA basketball team but also against the team’s vice president of customer service and security. Hayes is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. 

Here is what we know about the allegations: 

  • The plaintiff claims that, while white performers were frequently allowed to bypass security measures, black performers were not. 
  • When Adele (white) requested to access the arena through the loading dock, her requests were fulfilled. When 2 Chainz, Jeezy, and The Dream (all black) requested to bypass security, their requests were rejected. When several WWE performers (white) asked for special parking privileges, their requests were fulfilled. When several black entertainers at the Old School Hop Fest requested similar privileges, their requests were rejected. 
  • When the black mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed, asked if he could be dropped off at the media entrance, his request was denied (even though white entertainers were frequently allowed to do so). Because of Reed’s “special requests”, Hayes claims that he heard complaints such as “he thinks he’s a celebrity” and “he thinks he owns the place.”

Officials at Kasim Reed’s office deny that Reed requested for special privileges from Phillips Arena. They even go as far to say that the “the claims concerning Mayor Reed are totally and completely false.”

The Atlanta Hawks team claims that the plaintiff wasn’t fired because of his race, but because of poor performance. According to Hayes, he was fired for repeatedly complaining about the Hawks’ racially charged security measures.

Do you think Hayes’ claims have merit? Or do you think he’s simply taking advantage of his situation?

*image by Joey Kyber

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Even More Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Former Fox News Chairman Alies

The nightmare for former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, is still not over. New sexual harassment accusations against Ailes have recently surfaced, nearly six months after Fox paid out $20 million to settle one sexual harassment case. Curanaj’s suit is not against Ailes or Fox News, but against the New York Fox TV Station she worked for. Curanaj is alleging gender, age, race and pregnancy discrimination.

Here is what we know about the recent complaint:

  1. Lidia Curanaj alleges that Ailes offered her an interview to join the Fox News Network after meeting in 2011. 
  2. Ailes offered Curanaj a private interview after completing her group interview. 
  3. Ailes told her to stand up and turn around for him, claiming that it was important for females in the industry to look good. 
  4. Ailes allegedly asked someone from Curanaj’s past if she “put out.” When the man told her that she probably wouldn’t, Curanaj did not get the job. 
  5. After Curanaj was denied the promotion, she complained to the station’s news director. It was then that he told her she wasn’t pretty enough to be on the air.

Though Ailes’ attorney couldn’t be reached, a spokesperson for Fox TV Stations released a statement alleging that Curanaj’s claims lack merit. More than two dozen women have come forth alleging sexual harassment against Ailes including former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

What do you think of all these allegations?

image by Marius Boatca

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10 McDonald’s Employees Sue for Sexual Harassment, Race Discrimination, and Wrongful Termination

Ten former employees of a Virginia McDonald’s filed a civil rights lawsuit against the fast food giant. The employees allege that their supervisors subjected them to racial and sexual harassment and wrongfully terminated them. Nine of the employees are African-American, one is Hispanic, and seven are women. The plaintiffs are seeking lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages from the suit—which is being supported by the South Boston NAACP.

Some examples of harassment that the employees alleged they endured includes:

  1. Supervisors touched female employees inappropriately.
  2. Supervisors sent female employees sexually inappropriate images.
  3. Supervisors solicited sex from female employees.
  4. Supervisors complained that there were too many black people in the store.
  5. Supervisors referred to African-American employees as “bitch”, “ghetto”, and “ratchet”. 
  6. Supervisors referred to Hispanic employee as a “dirty Mexican”.
  7. Supervisors punished African-American workers for breaking rules, while white employees got away with similar infractions.
  8. Supervisors devised a plan to reduce the number of African American employees working at the franchise.
  9. Nine employees were fired because they didn’t “fit the profile”.
  10. Employees were criticized about their hair or looks.

The suit is charging both McDonald’s corporate and the local franchise. The plaintiff’s attorney, Paul Smith, believes that McDonald’s corporate controls every aspect of the franchise including mandating policies and training supervisors how to deal with harassment. McDonald’s neither denied or confirmed the allegations but claims to have a “long standing history of embracing the diversity of employees, independent Franchisees, customers and suppliers.”

*image by Flickr

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Wife of NFL Player Suing Employer for Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Philippa Okoye, wife of NFL player Lawrence Okoye, is suing her former boss and employer for sexually harassing her, openly mocking her interracial marriage, and demoting her when she complained. When Okaye was hired as a senior investment adviser in 2013, she was the only woman working in the Manhattan division of deVere Group, the world’s largest group of international financial advisers. 

Okaye alleges that a senior area manager for deVere was the one that primarily led the harassment. Okaye alleges that the senior manager openly expressed that he wanted the office to have the same drug and sex fueled escapades seen in The Wolf of Wall Street and The Boiler Room

Okaye, the only female employee amongst 21 male-coworkers, allegedly faced sexist antics daily. In addition to making inappropriate comments, her co-workers would also allegedly rate visiting women on whether or not they were worth “f*cking”. Some of the inappropriate things said to Okaye by her coworkers during her time of employment include:

1. Don’t change your surname if you marry Lawrence, because people will think you’re black, and that’s not good for business.

2. How many cheerleaders has your boyfriend f*cked today? He’s probably f*cked the whole cheerleading squad by now.

3. So can you handle the banter or are you going to be a woman about it and be sensitive? 

4. I think it’s disgusting when white women go out with black guys. 

When Okaye complained to the senior area manager about the sexist and racist comments directed towards her, he allegedly replied, “this is why I didn’t want women in the office.” She alleges she was then demoted and eventually fired in retaliation for her complaint. 

deVere Group claims that the allegations are “false and incredulous” and that Okaye is just a disgruntled employee. 

*image by Esteban Chiner, Flickr

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Restaurant Chain Accused of Refusing to Hire More Black Employees

The Buffalo Wild Wings located in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport  is being accused of using discriminatory hiring practices from a former employee, Yolonda Jeter-King.  She claims that she was fired for complaining about the alleged racial discrimination. 

Jeter-King never had any problems with race discrimination until the new management, Phasenext Hospitality (a Texas-based company) came in. 

An anonymous employee recorded a conversation that took place between the employee and the store manager. When asked if the applicants for potential new hires were black, the anonymous employee replies “one of them is black, one of them is white.” The store manager then allegedly said “We have our quota of blacks here. Do you have anybody else here white or Mexican? Anything else, I’m all for it.” The employee then asked why they can’t hire black people and the store manager says “They kind of scare our guests you know? Because they are all white businessmen.”

Jeter-King was appalled when she heard the recording. Not only has the Atlanta Airport been rated number one for customer service, but she says she knows most of the businessmen that go in there. 

The CEO and president of Phasenext Hospitality says there is “no truth to what is being said.” She claims that her company does not discriminate and that 70 percent of the employees at the restaurant are indeed African-American. A full investigation by Phasenext Hospitality will begin soon. 

Do you think a company with 70% black employees can lose a discrimination lawsuit for not hiring blacks?

*image by Gereld Angeles, Flickr

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Former Clippers Owner Sterling Sued For Taunting Former Employee With Racist and Sexist Comments

Surprise, surprise!  Donald Sterling is being sued for race and sex discrimination/harassment, this time by a former employee and alleged mistress.

Between the years of 2005-2011 Maiko Maya King alleges she had a romantic relationship with Donald Sterling, the (now former) owner of the Clippers. Throughout their relationship King claims that Sterling would make racially charged comments about her ex-husband (who was African-American) and her bi-racial children. Sterling would tell her things like “I want to take you out of the black world and put you into the white world.”

Two years after Sterling and King broke up, King began working for Sterling as his personal assistant and caretaker. During her employment, Sterling allegedly asked King to keep him sexually entertained in exchange for bonuses. He continued to make racial and sexually charged comments throughout their affair. When King complained to Sterling about his racist comments, he fired her. 

This isn’t the only trouble Sterling has been in as of late. He was recently banned from the NBA for life, fined $2.5 million and ordered to sell the team for making racist remarks against African-Americans to his female friend V. Stiviano. Though Donald Sterling refused to sell, his wife Shelly Sterling (who is co-owner of the team) reached a deal to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer for $2 billion. The sale was completed on July 28, 2014. 

Do you think this story is true or is this just a case of former employees jumping on the sue/attack Sterling bandwagon? Leave your opinion in the comments below. 

*photo by Zennie Abraham, Flickr

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Shirazi Law Firm, PC

Shirazi Law Firm, PC

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Phone: 310 400 5891
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