Angel Onuoha, a Black product manager at Google, claims he was profiled while riding his bike through the company’s campus.
Onuoha complained about the treatment he received from security guards at an unnamed Google location in a tweet posted on September 20.
“Riding my bike around Google’s campus, and somebody called security on me because they didn’t believe I was an employee. Had to get escorted by two security guards to verify my ID badge,” he tweeted with a facepalming emoji.
Riding my bike around Google’s campus and somebody called security on me because they didn’t believe I was an employee. Had to get escorted by two security guards to verify my ID badge 🤦🏾♂️
— Angel Onuoha (@angelonuoha7) September 20, 2021
Onuoha’s tweet went viral. Another user, Albert Richardson, shared his own story of being profiled while working for Google.
“Dawg, I worked as security at Google and got security called on me. Smh,” Richardson wrote. After another person asked for more details, Richardson shared he wasted an hour looking for himself.
Dawg I worked as security at Google and got security called on me. Smh
— Albert Richardson (@AldadofDamian) September 21, 2021
I was on lunch in one of the micro kitchens. My radio goes off like "Hey Al when you get off of lunch can you head over to the second floor micro kitchen. A Googler just reported a suspicious individual in that area." I spent a hour looking for myself.
— Albert Richardson (@AldadofDamian) September 22, 2021
“I was on lunch in one of the micro kitchens. My radio goes off like, ‘Hey Al when you get off of lunch, can you head over to the second-floor micro kitchen. A Googler just reported a suspicious individual in that area.’ I spent [an] hour looking for myself,” he recalled. Richardson’s tweets also went viral.
In addition to these allegations, Google has been called out multiple times for the lack of diversity in its workforce. In 2018, the company released a report that admitted the high attrition rates, or the number of people leaving, among Black hires.
“Attrition rates in 2017 were highest for Black Googlers followed by Latinx Googlers, and lowest for Asian Googlers,” the report stated. “Black Googler attrition rates, while improving in recent years, have offset some of our hiring gains, which has led to smaller increases in representation than we would have seen otherwise. We’re working hard to better understand what drives higher attrition and taking focused measures to improve it.”
During the racial unrest sparked by George Floyd’s killing, Google pledged to double its Black workforce by 2025, per Newsweek. The company also wants to raise the number of people of color in senior positions by 30 percent. Currently, Black employees make up 4.4 percent of Google’s staff, according to the company’s 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report.
Onuoha eventually provided an update after curious readers blew up his inbox. Unfortunately, the situation got worse.
A lot of people keep DM’ing me asking for the full story…
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. And that was after holding me up for 30 minutes causing me to miss my bus ride home https://t.co/UBzHDC1ugG
— Angel Onuoha (@angelonuoha7) September 22, 2021
“A lot of people keep DM’ing me asking for the full story…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,” he wrote on September 22. “And that was after holding me up for 30 minutes, causing me to miss my bus ride home.”
Google got wind of the drama and launched an investigation.
“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 spokesperson told Forbes.
The representative encouraged concerned employees to “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,” the rep continued.