Google employee resigns, accuses firm of casteism; Alphabet Inc responds

New Delhi: 

A Dalit civil rights organisation on Thursday has accused Google of having a casteist and hostile working environment. 

Google, however, has categorically denied these allegations.

Google spokesperson, Shanon Newberry told the Washington Post that, “Caste discrimination has no place in our workplace. We also have a very clear, public shared policy against retaliation and discrimination in our workplace”.

Equity Labs is a leading civil rights organisation working for caste equity. The Equity Lab seek to disrupt racial and ethnic inequity by engaging organizations in issue of race, equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI).

In a statement released by Equity Labs that alleged Google management has unveiled its lack of caste equity and has made its employees, who belong to a particular identity, vulnerable. They have allowed caste bigotry and harassment to run rampant within the organisation. 

As per The Washington Post, Equality Lab’s Executive Director, Thenmozhi Soundarajan had faced discriminatory claims within Google. This led to the cancellation of a Google News diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) talk on ‘caste’ which was scheduled for April’s Dalit History Month.

“During this time, opponents of caste equity internally circulated disinformation about Soundarajan and Equality Labs to derail the civil rights event until its ultimate cancellation,” Equality Labs said in a statement.

“The movement toward caste equity is one rooted in love, empathy, and justice. 

I cannot find the words to express just how traumatic and discriminatory Google’s actions were towards its employees and myself, as the company unlawfully cancelled a talk about caste equity. Google must address the casteism within its workforce that allows for these attacks to occur and continue,” said Soundarajan


Equality Labs has also said that in response, Tanuja Gupta, a project manager at Google News, founder of Googlers for Ending Forced Arbitration and an original organiser of the Google Walkout, has helped over 400 people working at Google to take a stand against caste-based discrimination from the Googler who oppose caste equity. 

“Gupta’s team members were doxxed as a result of the planned talk, and their safety was jeopardised. Google management retaliated against Gupta with an HR investigation and punitive corrective action that forced her resignation, as she no longer felt safe at the company,” it said.

“Having been at the company for 11 years, I had many reasons for leaving, but this was the only one I needed. In the process of doing my job and promoting caste equity at the company, I saw four women of colour harassed and silenced,” Tanuja Gupta, former Google project manager, shared in her June 1, 2022 resignation email to over 15,000 Googlers.

A tweet rolled out by Prof. Dilip C Mandal, which criticized the ostracizations based on identity, read, “Meltdown! oppressor caste faculties writing leter against adding caste to the system of anti-discrimination policy of California State University, the largest university system in the US.”


he reality is that these are not isolated events, this is a pattern.” “We are deeply concerned that Google would retaliate against people for championing safer workplaces and caste equity,” said Alvina Yeh, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO.

“As a labor constituency organisation representing AAPI workers, we know that supporting racial justice means fighting caste discrimination. Our members have taken a strong stance for caste equity, and we know that this is an attack on the entire labor movement. We condemn the actions of Google management,” Yeh said.


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