A black Google employee has claimed he was racially profiled and escorted from the tech giant's sprawling California campus because security guards did not believe the recent Harvard graduate worked there.
Angel Onuoha, an associate product manager who graduated from the Ivy League school with a 3.8 average last spring, was held for 30 minutes by security guards at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, he said.
Google blamed the incident on a snafu with Onuoha's security badge - and rejected any claims of bias - saying administrative issues prevented guards from being able to verify the pass.
On September 20, Onuohoa shared his experience in a tweet that has since become viral and earned more than 90,000 likes and nearly 14,000 retweets.
'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,' said Onuoha, who was hired by Google last month.
Angel Onuoha, an associate product manager for Google, says he was held for 30 minutes by security guards in a case of racial profiling
Onuoha shared his experience on Twitter that has been shared nearly 14,000 times
Onuoha was an accomplished student at Harvard, graduated with a 3.8 GPA last spring
After sparking questions from indignant users on Twitter, Onuoha returned to the platform to further explain what happened.
'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,' Onuoha said.
Google told Forbes that the company had reached out to Onuoha and were actively investigating the circumstances around the incident.
'More broadly, one step we've taken recently to decrease badging incidents is to make clear that employees should 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,' Forbes reported.
Onuoha, an overachieving economics major, was admitted to the Stanford and Harvard schools of business after he earned his bachelor's degree last spring. He is also the co-founder of an equity fund that promotes 'the education of black students around the nation.'
Another black employees replied to Onuoha's tweet by sharing his own experience.
'I worked as security at Google and got security called on me. Smh,' Albert Richardson said.
Last year, Google came under fire at the height of national protests over the killing of George Floyd, with employees denouncing its cuts to anti-racism programs and the company's inaction to address discrimination in the workplace.
According to the diversity report from Alphabet - Google's parent company- only 4.4% of employees are black.
Onuoha is the co-founder of an equity fund that promotes 'the education of black students around the nation'
Onuoha, a recent Harvard graduate, has been employed at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, since August
Last year, Google's former diversity recruiter April Cristina Curley accused her bosses of denying her promotions, cutting her compensation, placing her on performance review, denying her leadership opportunities and yelling at her because she was black.
Curley said that despite having a 'stellar' performance, she constantly suffered microaggressions.
'Ultimately my last manager, his manager and HR decided that the best way to shut me up was to fire me. My last manager had his ego bruised FROM JUMP when I refused to discuss my sexuality with him (once asking me which of my teammates I would sleep with-TF)' Curley said on December.
'F*** GOOGLE AND F*** THE WAY GOOGLE TREATS BLACK WOMEN and BLACK PEOPLE. THEY DO NOT WANT BLACK TALENT,' she concluded.