The lead plaintiffs in an ongoing race discrimination case against Google LLC filed a response to Google’s motion to dismiss, arguing that Google’s claims are groundless, premature, and unsupported by precedent.
As previously reported by Law Street, April Curley, Desiree Mayon, Ronika Lewis, Rayna Reid, Anim Aweh, and Ebony Thomas have filed a class-action complaint against Google. They argue that Google has a “culture of racial hostility” and systemically discriminates against black applicants and employees. They all tell similar stories of not getting jobs they were well qualified for, being hired at seniority levels below what their education and experience deserved, not receiving due promotions and bonuses, and racial harassment in the workplace.
Google moved to dismiss, arguing that these four lead plaintiffs are too distinct to be amalgamated into a class action, and they are spuriously trying to generalize to a large class. They also argue that the proposed classes would be too large to feasibly administrate.
The plaintiffs disagree. They cite a preponderance of precedent stating that a complaint has to be extremely egregious to be stricken at this stage. They disputed Google’s reliance on Kevari v. Scottrade, Inc., arguing that the plaintiff’s conduct in that case was extraordinary. The existence of just such a case, they allege, is evidence that debates over class-action status must wait until after discovery.
Curley, Mayon, Lewis, Reid, Aweh, and Thomas further refute that their circumstances are sufficiently distinct. They allege that they all have common claims of racial discrimination that can be sussed out in court using sampling and statistical analysis.
As such, the plaintiffs allege that while there are differences in their stories and those of the proposed class members, the preponderance of claims will show a system-wide common injury.
Regarding Google’s allegation that the number of class members would be too numerous to administrate, the proposed lead plaintiffs argue that International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. United States paves the way for such a wide-reaching statistics-based suit.
The opposition ends seeking leave to amend should the Northern District of California dismiss any portion or all of their complaint.