Here are all the discrimination complaints filed against tech giants in the past 22 months

Here are all the discrimination complaints filed against tech giants in the past 22 months
Source: AP
Source: AP

Tech giants are working toward diversity and inclusion, but the numbers show it's an effort with room for improvement. 

Tracy Chou, a founding member of Project Include, an organization created to foster diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, and a former Pinterest employee, was one of the first engineers to demand the data about Silicon Valley's diversity problem.

"Vanity metrics are dangerous," Chou wrote in a blog post in 2013. "Just pointing to the happy numbers doesn't do anything except make people feel good while the real issues fester, unaddressed."

Pledges to accelerate diversity are meaningless without data to hold them accountable. Numbers go beyond superficial indicators like eloquently crafted promises. Actual diversity reports matter; numbers are undeniable

Mic obtained documents of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing complaints filed against Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter from Jan. 1, 2015, through October 2016. 

In that course of time, three complaints were filed against Facebook, four complaints were filed against Twitter, 14 complaints were filed against Google and 20 complaints were filed against Apple. 

Three complaints were filed against Facebook, four complaints were filed against Twitter, 14 complaints were filed against Google and 20 complaints were filed against Apple

The variance in numbers of complaints can be partly attributed to differing company sizes. As of 2015, Google had approximately 62,000, Twitter had approximately 4,200, Apple had approximately 25,000 employees as of March 2016, and as of June 30, 2016, Facebook had 14,495.

Here's a summary of the DFEH complaints, organized by company. We reached out to Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple and will update if they respond.

Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Source: 
David Ramos/Getty Images

Facebook's complaints were filed in June, August and September 2016. According to harms cited, employees were allegedly:

• denied a good faith interactive process;
• asked impermissible non-job-related questions;
• denied a work environment free of discrimination and/or retaliation;
• denied family care or medical leave;
• denied equal pay;
• denied reasonable accommodation;
• forced to quit;
• denied the right to wear pants;
• tested for genetic characteristics. 

Twitter

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
Source: 
Justin Tallis/Getty Images

Twitter's complaints were filed in January 2015 and August and October 2016. According to harms cited, employees were allegedly:

• denied a work environment free of discrimination and/or retaliation;
• forced to quit;
• denied a good faith interactive process;
• denied family care or medical leave;
• denied reasonable accommodation. 

Google

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Source: 
Eric Risberg/AP

Ten of Google's complaints were filed in 2015; the remaining four were filed in July and August 2016. According to harms cited, employees were allegedly:

• asked impermissible non-job-related questions;
• denied a good faith interactive process;
• denied a work environment free of discrimination and/or retaliation;
• denied reasonable accommodation;
• denied family care or medical leave;
• denied equal pay. 

Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Source: 
Tony Avelar/AP

Eleven of Apple's complaints were filed in 2015; six were filed this year, and three file dates were left blank. According to harms cited, Cupertino employees were allegedly:

• asked impermissible non-job-related questions;
• denied a good faith interactive process;
• denied a work environment free of discrimination and/or retaliation;
• denied reasonable accommodation;
• denied equal pay;
• denied family care or medical leave;
• denied pregnancy leave;
• forced to quit.

The numbers don't lead to any sweeping, conclusive statements, but they bolster what we already know: Discrimination is still an issue in the tech industry. They don't discredit Apple, Google, Twitter or Facebook's commitment to creating inclusive work environments; they just support consistent accounts that suggest discrimination is a problem that has yet to be resolved. 

If you filed a complaint against your tech-industry employer, we want to hear from you. Email melanie@mic.com

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Melanie Ehrenkranz

Melanie is a writer covering technology and the future. She can be reached at melanie@mic.com.

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