- The Google engineer who was fired last summer for posting a manifesto about women being less interested in tech because of biology is suing Google.
- The engineer alleges that he was the subject of discrimination for his political viewpoints as well as his race and gender.
- His lawyer is seeking class-action status and wants to represent anyone who believes Google discriminated against them for being white or male or conservative.
- Another white, male engineer is also part of the lawsuit. He was fired for making public comments that resulted in his coworkers reporting him to HR.
James Damore, the engineer that Google fired in August for writing a memo suggesting women are less interested in tech because of their biology, has filed a lawsuit against Google.
Damore’s lawyer is alleging that conservatives are discriminated against at Google and that Damore’s firing was retribution against him for his political views. The suit was filed in Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California.
Political affiliation is a protected class in many states.
But the lawsuit is seeking class action status and wants to represent more than just this one class, Damore’s lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, a partner with the Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco, told Business Insider. It is seeking to represent everyone who feels Google discriminated against them for being white, or for being male, or for being conservative.
“Google’s open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law. Google’s management goes to extreme – and illegal – lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google,” the lawsuit alleges.
Dhillon and her law team have been out canvassing for people to join as plaintiffs against the class-action suit. So far, another Google engineer named David Gudeman, who left in December, 2016, is also a plaintiff, reports TechCrunch.
To recap: Damore’s memo caused a firestorm for implying that biology was one reason for the lack of women in tech. Damore also argued that it was a lack of tolerance of diverse political viewpoints that needed to change.
After he was fired, he became a cult hero of the political right. His lawyer, Dhillon, is the former chairwoman of the Republican Party in San Francisco.
He threatened to sue, filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing, and that agency investigated and issued him a “right to sue” letter. That doesn’t mean he’ll win the case. But it is the first step before litigation can proceed.
Google plans to fight back. A spokesperson tells us, “We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore’s lawsuit in court.”
Likewise, in 2015 Gudeman was reprimanded by Google HR after he posted comments to a document being shared internally at Google. The document was about “derailing,” the lawsuit says. That involves how to deal with a conversation that goes off the rails.
Gudeman’s comments expressed opinions that white men are the “victims of a racist and sexist political movement.” He also compared the document to one “slave owners would have written for their slaves to help them understand how to interact with their masters,” the lawsuit says.
He was fired in 2016 after he posted comments questioning a Muslim co-worker’s recent travel and another employee reported him to HR alleging he was creating “conspiracy theories” about the coworker.