A Google lawsuit against the city of Houston may not be a typical one in the U.S., but the search giant is considering an alternative lawsuit against a different Texas city over its alleged role in creating a climate that’s “unsafe” for women and people of color.
As reported by CNBC on Wednesday, a group of Google employees recently wrote to the city’s leadership and attorneys general of both the states of Texas and California, requesting an injunction against the alleged “misrepresentation of Google’s reputation and the harm it’s causing to the community” in the city.
The letter alleges that the city is “ignoring Google’s serious complaints about the city and its handling of its public safety, and failing to take appropriate action to address the issue.”
“The allegations that Google is intentionally creating an unsafe environment for women in Houston, a woman of color, and people with disabilities are completely untrue,” Google wrote in its complaint.
“The City of Houston has already been subject to multiple public safety threats due to Google’s presence in the area.
We’ve been working to address these concerns and the threats faced by Houstoners with the help of local community partners and community groups.”
As part of the lawsuit, Google also said that the lawsuit “is based on Google’s misrepresentation that the City of Harris County is a ‘hostile’ environment” and that the “City of Houston is a major provider of public safety services and resources in Houston and surrounding areas.”
Houston’s mayor has denied Google’s allegations, saying the city has not engaged in any discriminatory conduct in the past.
Google’s letter came just days after the city passed a controversial ordinance that required all businesses to wear reflective vests and provide a public safety presence.
Houston has been facing increasing scrutiny from critics of the city government, including the National Review.
“Google’s allegations that Houston has been a major recipient of taxpayer dollars are false and misleading,” the NR wrote.
The lawsuit is the latest move in a litany of lawsuits against Houston, which is home to Google headquarters and a number of other tech giants including Facebook, Yelp and Uber.
In February, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the city against Google over its allegedly discriminatory policing tactics and its role in the arrest of two black men.