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Google advised 'mental health care' over racism complaints

Several Google employees have said that the company allegedly suggested them to go for mental health counselling or apply leave when they complained about racism or sexual harassment at workplace, the media reported.

mental health

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 March 2021 5:39 AM GMT

SAN FRANCISCO: Several Google employees have said that the company allegedly suggested them to go for mental health counselling or apply leave when they complained about racism or sexual harassment at workplace, the media reported.

According to NBC News, Google's human resources (HR) department encouraged them to take mental health leave, even when their complaints were unrelated to such concerns.

"They consulted human resources after colleagues made comments about their skin colour or Black hairstyles or asked if they were sexually interested in their teammates. They also contacted human resources to report retaliation after protesting sexual harassment issues and to advocate for raises for Black people to match white employees' pay," the report said on Sunday.

Each time, "human resource personnel recommended the employees seek therapy or take medical leave to address their mental health - despite their mental well-being having nothing to do with their complaints," the report mentioned.

Benjamin Cruz, a former instructional designer in Google's Cloud division, said that after he made the complaint, "my work started getting pushed out from under me, but my team acted like everything was fine. I wanted to find help. When the medical leave was recommended to me, it was like an automatic process."

Google did not comment on Cruz's allegations, the report said.

Last month, two Google engineers, including one of Indian-origin, quit Google over abrupt firing of Timnit Gebru who was the technical co-lead of Google's Ethical Artificial Intelligence Team.

While engineering director David Baker said that Gebru's dismissal "extinguished" his will to work at the company, software engineer Vinesh Kannan announced that he was quitting because Gebru and April Christina Curley, a diversity recruiter, were "wronged,".

Gebru said in December that she was fired over an email where she expressed her doubts about Google's commitment inclusion and diversity.

Later that month, Curley made her firing that took place in September 2020 public.

"They do not want black talent," she said. (IANS)

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