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.

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