Once of the fastest growing companies in the world-Palantir Technologies, founded by well-known high tech financier Peter Thiel-has been accused in a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Labor of discrimination against Asian job seekers. Government attorneys allege that Palantir “routinely eliminated” Asians from the employment process, either when resumes were screened or during telephone interviews. The lawsuit arose after federal officials conducted a statistical analysis to confirm that Palantir, a federal government contractor, was in compliance with anti-discrimination rules.
Palantir, located in Palo Alto, currently employs about 1,800 people. The company says the government’s case is without merit and is based on “flawed statistical analysis.”
Palantir is not the first Silicon Valley company to face similar allegations. Hewlett Packard Enterprise recently agreed to pay $750,000 in back pay in a discrimination complaint filed by African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians who applied for inside sales jobs at its facility in Arkansas.
One of the unique aspects of the Palantir lawsuit is its focus on Asian-Americans, a group typically well-represented in most Silicon Valley companies. However, attorneys for the Departments of Labor say that because so many of the applicants for these jobs are of Asian heritage, it skews the numbers a bit. They say that 77 percent of the pool of applicants at Palantir during the time period reviewed were Asian.
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