Deaf Black Google Censor Sues Over Discrimination

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A deaf Google employee tasked with censoring “misinformation” who was trumpeted by the company as exemplifying its commitment and success in promoting diversity has sued Google for allegedly stymying her career.

Jalon Hall was recruited by Google in 2020 to perform content moderation on YouTube videos. As the only deaf black employee at Google, Hall has been at the center of several public relations efforts by the company as it boasted about its anti-discriminatory practices. But by Hall’s account, the company never fulfilled the promises made to her to create an accommodating environment, purportedly making it impossible for her to meet her job requirements.

Feeling unfairly used, Hall filed several HR complaints, which did not resolve her issues, before finally suing her employer in December 2023 for employment discrimination under the Civil Rights Act.

In the complaint, Hall alleged that Google did not accommodate her special needs, such as adequate access to a sign-language interpreter, and did not provide her with the training she required to meet performance goals and find advancement in her career at the company.

Hall claimed she was “held back, remaining on the same level of the ladder for the past 3 years and 3 months with no growth opportunity.”

She claimed that a machine learning research program manager called her an “aggressive black woman” who should “keep her mouth shut and take a sales role.”

According to an interview Hall gave to Wired, she said she believed Google used her to burnish its diversity, equity, and inclusion reputation.

“Google is using me to make them look inclusive for the deaf community and the overall disability community,” she said. “In reality, they need to do better.”

Initially, Hall was assigned to moderate and enforce YouTube’s child safety rules, which complicated her access to a sign language interpreter as the company did not want contractors exposed to graphic images. She was then transferred to a department moderating videos for what was considered COVID-19 and election “misinformation.”

Without an interpreter, Hall had to rely on lip reading and AI transcription software that did not work consistently or with sufficient accuracy. In this role, she was allegedly denied an interpreter because providing one would have compromised the confidentiality of the “misinformation” team’s work.

Google allegedly used Hall for publicity, featuring her on LinkedIn for “helping expand opportunities for Black Deaf professionals” and on Instagram to advertise Google’s inclusivity, per the New York Post.

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