Jan 5, 2017

Google is the latest tech firm to get sued by Feds over diversity

The Labor Department sued Peter Thiel's data startup Palantir last year for allegedly discriminating against Asian job applicants.

Now the agency has a new target in Silicon Valley, alleging that Google is stonewalling a routine audit of the company's equal opportunity hiring practices. Labor says that Google — a federal contractor — should have provided documents detailing things like employee salary history. Google didn't want to hand them over, so the agency sued.

What's on the line:

  • The search giant could lose its federal contracts
  • It could be banned from taking on federal contracts in the future

Counterpoint: Google told BuzzFeed News that it hopes to work with the agency. But it argues the documents in question were "overbroad in scope, or reveal confidential data."

The bigger picture: It's undeniable that Google has struggled with how to diversify its workforce — regardless of how this case turns out. Ninety-one percent of the company's employees in the United States are white and Asian. That's a trend you see at many Silicon Valley companies.

Go deeper

In photos: Trump visits Taj Mahal after massive rally in India

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the Taj Mahal. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump visited India's Taj Mahal on Monday, hours after telling a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad that he hopes to reach a trade deal with his "true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country.

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties as India’s location, size and economic growth make it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - World

Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Bernie's path to the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks yesterday during a rally at Houston University. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Lots of Democrats are in full panic that Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and get clobbered in the general election — and bring the party down, too. But the evidence, particularly the polling, doesn't back those doomsday warnings.

Why it matters: Virtually every national and swing state poll shows Sanders tied with or beating President Trump.  And, unlike every rival, he has a huge base of fervent, unshakable supporters he can only grow.