It appears discrimination against Black employees, particularly in certain giant firms, is not going away any time soon. In the latest case, a Black Google employee has alleged that he was stopped by the tech firm’s security as they didn’t believe he was an employee.
Angel Onuoha, an associate product manager and a graduate of Harvard University, said he was riding a bike around when someone called security on him. According to him, security staff took his ID badge away from him and was told to call the police if he had a problem with it. Before that, Onuoha noted that he was held for 30 minutes, causing him to miss his bus ride home.
“Riding my bike around Google’s campus and somebody called security on me because they didn’t believe I was an employee,” he tweeted. “Had to get escorted by two security guards to verify my ID badge.”
“They ended up taking my ID badge away from me later that day and I was told to call security if I had a problem with it,” his additional tweet read. “And that was after holding me up for 30 minutes causing me to miss my bus ride home,” he wrote.
Onuoha’s LinkedIn profile shows that he works at Google’s Mountain View, California office.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Google says it takes the concerns of Onuoha seriously and is in touch with him so as to investigate the matter.
“We take this employee’s concerns very seriously, are in touch with him and are looking into this. We learned that the employee was having issues with his badge due to an administrative error and contacted the reception team for help. After they were unable to resolve the issue, the security team was called to look into and help resolve the issue,” a Google spokesperson told Forbes.
“More broadly, one step we’ve taken recently to decrease badging incidents is to make clear that employees should leave investigating these kinds of access concerns to our security team. Our goal is to ensure that every employee experiences Google as an inclusive workplace and that we create a stronger sense of belonging for all employees.”
Google has had a shaky relationship with its Black employees. In 2020, Black employees of the firm took issues with the way the company handled anti-racism demonstrations across the country.
A former employee of the company is also quoted by the Business Insider as saying they “never stopped feeling the burden of being black at Google” in a memo to the tech giant. The former employee included in the memo three ways the company could better its diversity and inclusion efforts.
A Gallup report released in 2020 noted that one in four Blacks have faced discrimination at their job. And since the onset of the pandemic, many workers of color have said they preferred working from home than congregating at the office.