A former Google employee accused the California-based technology giant of discriminating against job candidates based on their race in a lawsuit filed on Jan. 29. The man claims that he was fired in November 2017 after voicing concerns about hiring policies that excluded white and Asian men in order to promote a more diverse workplace environment and insulate Google from the criticism that has been leveled at many leading technology companies.

The lawsuit alleges that recruiters at Google and its subsidiaries were given clear orders to interview only women or black or Latino men for software engineer positions and to purge all white or Asian male applicants from the hiring pipeline. The lawsuit names Google and 25 of the company’s workers who are claimed to have enforced the discriminatory policy. The man claims that any Google workers who complained about the company’s hiring practices were fired, demoted or ignored.

Documents supporting the lawsuit include emails from a Google hiring manager ordering recruiters to only consider candidates from groups underrepresented at the company. When questioned about the hiring discrimination litigation, a Google representative said that the company was unapologetically committed to developing a diverse workforce but hired candidates based on merit and not identity. Figures released by Google in 2017 reveal that 69 percent of the company’s workforce are men and 91 percent are either white or Asian.

Lawsuits such as this one can cause great damage to corporate reputations, but they may be dismissed quickly if the evidence supporting them is unconvincing. Attorneys with experience in workplace discrimination litigation may recommend that workers who have been treated unfairly gather as much information as they can before stepping forward. When allegations of misconduct are backed up by company emails, training manuals and internal memorandums, the defendants in this kind of lawsuit may be encouraged to settle quickly to avoid the risks and publicity of a trial.