The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is investigating Google following allegations of harassment of and discrimination against its Black female employees, Reuters reported.
The DFEH has been interviewing Black women about their experiences working at the company, with interviews taking place as recently as last month. Interviewees include both those who have and haven't filed formal complaints against Google, according to the report.
Though Google has claimed it's working to build "sustainable equity" for what the company calls its "Black+ community," its retention rate for women of color has dwindled. Employees who identify as "Black+ female" left Google at the second-highest rate of any racial-gender group last year, with those identifying as "Native American+ female" leaving at the highest rate, according to Reuters.
The investigation marks the latest of Google's recent run-ins with harassment allegations. Timnit Gebru, a Black former AI ethics researcher for the company, claimed she was fired late last year after criticizing its diversity efforts — a claim which the company reportedly denied. In April, 500 Google employees signed a letter to the company claiming it doesn't "provide a safe environment" for those who have experiences workplace harassment after Emi Nietfeld, another former employee, detailed allegations of sexual harassment in a New York Times op-ed.
The investigation also adds Google to DFEH's list of tech companies it is challenging. The agency has ongoing lawsuits against Tencent, Riot Games and Activision Blizzard due to allegations of harassment and discrimination.