May 23, 2024

“Don’t be evil”? Lawsuit Against Google Alleges Fraud and Discrimination by High-Ranking Executives

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Once upon a time, “Don’t be evil” was Google’s corporate motto. It may be due for a revisit, as an employee was fired in retaliation for bravely speaking out against deceitful and unlawful practices.

ILG Legal Office is representing former Google employee Leilei Shan in his lawsuit against Google LLC. Mr. Shan’s complaint alleges serious misconduct within the tech giant’s ranks. His case brings to light claims of deep-rooted discrimination and fraud that not only affected his career but also deceived charitable donors and compromised the integrity of Google’s apprenticeship programs. This case underscores the importance of upholding ethical conduct within major corporations and protecting employees who call out unethical practices.

Leilei Shan’s tenure at Google was marked by exceptional performance and dedication. Having climbed the ranks over nearly 14 years to become a Senior Manager of Corporate Engineering at the company, his career trajectory took a nosedive following his complaints about unethical practices within Google’s apprenticeship program. According to Shan, the program was manipulated to favor the children of certain high-ranking executives at the expense of deserving candidates, under the guise of promoting diversity and inclusion.

Shan alleges he was coerced into showing “loyalty” and participating in unethical practices, which he steadfastly refused. His complaints to human resources about these practices were seemingly ignored, and his once stellar career at Google began to deteriorate rapidly. According to Bloomberg Law, “Shan says he complained to Google’s human resources department multiple times in summer 2023 about [a Google executive’s] demands of loyalty based on his race and her alleged bias against him for his age. The complaint says this unlawful bias meant that his performance was no longer measured by objective work indicators but by degree of loyalty.”

The Daily Journal further elaborates on the misuse of the charity Innovantre, where executives allegedly manipulated donations to benefit their own families under the guise of supporting diversity. “[The Google executive] also failed to clarify the nonprofit’s association with Google’s Apprentice Program, all the while collecting cash donations on and Google’s internal charity donation website,” the article highlights, painting a troubling picture of deception at the expense of genuine philanthropic efforts.

This case not only reveals Google’s internal practices but also raises critical questions about the broader tech industry’s responsibility to maintain fairness and transparency. At ILG Legal Office, we are committed to advocating for corporate accountability and supporting our client through this challenging journey.

We will continue to provide information and updates on this case, so stay tuned to our website for new developments.