The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit accusing Panlantir Technologies, a fast-growing Silicon Valley software company, of systematically discriminating against job applicants who are Asian. The company has been valued at $20 billion and creates software used by the military and law enforcement agencies, as well as other non-governmental businesses. The company is in Palo Alto, and employs over 1,800 individuals.

The lawsuit claims that the company routinely discriminated against Asian job candidates during the resume-screening and phone interview stages of the hiring process. The claims arose out of a statistical analysis conducted by federal officials, which is required to make sure that government contractors do not discriminate in their employment processes.

The company denied the allegations, and instead said that the government’s case relies on a very narrow analysis relating to three job descriptions between 2010 and 2011. The company refused to respond to questions about the ethnicity of its workforce, but said that the results of its hiring practices speak for themselves.

Although discrimination claims in Silicon Valley are nothing new, this lawsuit is unique because it only focuses on Asian job candidates. The lawsuit focuses on those candidates because they applied in relatively large numbers, and according to the federal government’s analysis, a disproportionate number of Asian applicants were rejected for positions with the company.

According to the lawsuit, Asians made up 77 percent of a pool of over 730 qualified applicants for the job of quality assurance engineer. Seven people were hired, and only one of those seven was Asian. The statistical likelihood of that result is one in 741. For the position of engineering intern, there was only a one in a billion chance that the company’s hiring pattern occurred by coincidence , according to the lawsuit.

There have been a slew of discrimination lawsuits filed against tech companies in recent years, although it’s believed that none have been brought on behalf of Asian workers. Apple, Google, Facebook, and other prominent companies have acknowledged that when compared with the general population, they employ smaller numbers of women, blacks, and Hispanics. Recently, Hewlett Packard agreed to pay $750,000 in back wages to settle discrimination claims brought by the Labor Department, although they did not admit wrongdoing. Those claims involved blacks, Asian, and Hispanics who sought inside sales jobs at an Arkansas data-processing facility.

Under both federal and state law, race and ethnicity discrimination are illegal. Discrimination occurs when a job applicant or an employee is treated unfavorably because he or she is of a certain race, or has characteristics associated with a certain race. Race discrimination can also involve treating someone unfairly because the person is married to or is associated with a person of a certain race or ethnicity. In addition, harassment is illegal based on race too. Harassment does not include simple teasing, but does include racial slurs, offensive remarks, or the display of symbols that are racially offensive.

If you have been discriminated against or harassed because of your race or color in the Oakland-San Francisco area, it’s time to stand up for your legal rights. Micha Star Liberty believes that any companies that discriminate against employees or applicants based on their race should be held accountable for their illegal behavior. Call the Oakland race discrimination attorneys at Liberty Law at 510-645-1000. We can help. You may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, lost benefits, and more. Call us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.

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