Google used a black, deaf employee to promote its diversity. Now she's suing for discrimination


Hall says that when she does have access to an interpreter, she is rotated throughout the week, forcing her to explain certain technical concepts repeatedly. “Google is going the cheap route,” Hall claims, adding that his interpreters at the university were more literate in technical terminology.

Kathy Kaufman, director of coordination services at DSPA, says it pays above market rates, dedicates a small pool to each company so terminology becomes familiar, hires technical experts, and trains those who aren't. Does. Kaufman also declined to confirm whether Google is a customer or comment on its policies.

Google's Hawkins says that the company is trying to improve. Google's accommodations team is currently looking for employees to join a new working group to streamline disability-related policies and processes.

In addition to Hall's concerns, deaf workers over the past two years have complained about Google's plans — which have been shelved for now — to move away from DSPA without assurances that the new interpreting provider would be better, a According to the former Google employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity to protect his job prospects. The human guides blind employees rely on have been locked out of internal systems in recent years due to privacy concerns, and they have long complained that prominent, widely used assignment trackers like Internal devices are incompatible with screen readers, according to another former employee.

Advocates for disabled workers try to instill hope but become discouraged. Stephanie Parker, a former YouTube senior strategist who helped Hall navigate the Google bureaucracy, says, “The premise that everyone deserves a chance at every role depends on the company to provide that accommodation.” What does she do?” “From my experience with Google, there is a significant lack of commitment to accessibility.”

not recorded

Hall has been left to watch as content moderators are promoted as colleagues who were hired alongside them get promotions. More than three years after joining Google, she remains a Level 2 employee on its internal rankings, defined as someone who receives significant oversight from a manager, providing her with Google peer support and Has become ineligible for retention programs. Internal data shows that most L2 employees move up to L3 within three years.

Last August, Hall started her own community, the Black Googler Network Deaf Alliance, teaching its members sign language and sharing videos and articles about the Black Deaf community. “This is still a hearing world, and the deaf and the hearing have to come together,” she says.

On the Responsible AI team, Hall is compiling research that will help people working on AI services like virtual assistants at Google understand how to make them accessible to the Black Deaf community. He personally recruited 20 Black Deaf users to discuss their views on the future of technology for approximately 90 minutes in exchange for up to $100; Google, which reported profits of nearly $74 billion last year, will pay for only 13. The project was further derailed by an unexpected flaw in the company's video chat service, Google Meet.

Hall's first interview was with someone who is deaf and blind. The 90-minute call, which included two interpreters to help him and the conversation on topic, went well. But when Hall pulled out the recording to prepare his report, it was almost completely blank. Only when the hall's interpreter spoke did the video include any visuals. Signatures were missing from everyone on the call, preventing her from transcribing the interview in its entirety. It turned out that Google Meet doesn't record video of people who aren't vocal, even if their microphones are unmuted.