Google HR reportedly advised mental health leave in response to complaints of racist or sexist behavior

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Several current and former Google employees say the company’s human resources department would often suggest mental health counseling or leave in response to complaints about racist or sexist behavior in the workplace, NBC News reported.

The workers described encounters with coworkers that included racist comments about skin color and hairstyles, as well as sexual harassment. When they contacted Google’s human resources department, each was encouraged to take mental health leave, even when their complaints were unrelated to mental health concerns, according to NBC.

The report follows the December firing of Google AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru, who refused a manager’s request to retract a paper that described the dangers of language…

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