Ex-Google employee behind anti-diversity memo sues for discrimination
- Author: Rita Burton Jan 09, 2018,
Jan 09, 2018, 1:57
Former Google engineer James Damore is suing the Mountain View company for discriminating against him for his political views, after he was sacked in August for writing a controversial memo that said men were more biologically prone to careers in coding than women.
Google has yet to respond to the lawsuit.
The imbroglio at Google is the latest in a long string of incidents concerning gender bias and diversity in the tech enclave.
Google spokesman Ty Sheppard previously told CNNMoney that the company has strong policies against workplace retaliation, harassment and discrimination.More news: Christmas Mystery: Did Julian Assange Delete His Own Twitter Account?
The lengthy complaint totals some 62 pages and contains in excess of 100 additional exhibits and appendices, most of which are comprised of memes or social media posts made by Google employees. It is seeking class action status for three groups of people who it claims have been similarly discriminated against: Conservatives, Caucasians, and men. It circulated widely inside the company and became public over the first weekend in August, causing a furor that amplified the pressure on Google executives to take a more definitive stand.
Google chief Sundar Pichai said "portions of the memo violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace". Damore, who also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, appeared to embrace his rising political visibility, posing in a t-shirt with the word "Goolag" written in a multi-colored style that mimicked Google's familiar logo.
The firing has placed the company into the center of a maelstrom of political controversy. Google has denied Damore's allegation that its hiring practices are illegal. "We'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul".
The duo say they want to represent all staff discriminated against due to their "perceived conservative political views, male gender and Caucasian race". Google has denied the allegations, arguing that it doesn't have a gender gap in pay.
The lawsuit, filed Monday by Mr. Damore and another former Google employee with California Superior Court of Santa Clara County, also claims that the company uses illegal quotas in order to hire women and minorities.