Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

Fired Google engineer James Damore sues company

Fired Google engineer James Damore sues company

Damore, who garnered national attention after releasing a memo that questioned whether Google's hiring practices geared toward bringing more women into its workforce was practicable, was joined in the lawsuit by former Google employee David Gudeman.

The complaint? That his former employer unjustly discriminates against conservative white men, or those whose perspectives differ from Google management.

Last August, Google fired engineer James Damore for penning a memo (more of a 3,300-word screeching manifesto) that argued against workplace diversity, which he claimed was damaging to political conservatives, who he said are consequently afraid to speak their minds.

The lawsuit requested an injunction barring Google from discriminating against individuals with conservative political views, as well as for unspecified compensation.

The survey also pointed to the lack of diversity among startup business' board of directors; More than 51 per cent of startup teams were made up of mostly men, a slight increase from previous year (50 per cent).

Damore was sacked from Google, and while many people cheered this move, some conservative onlookers claimed the engineer actually had a legal case against the tech giant.

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In August, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo to employees that the tech firm fired Damore because he violated the company's code of conduct, which states that Googlers should "do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination".

Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said when Damore was sacked that portions of his memo "violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".

Echoing Damore's initial blog post, the suit also accuses Google of "producing an ideological echo chamber" and "a protected, distorted bubble of groupthink" where political correctness was elevated over merit. Unlike government employees, who have some free speech protections, private employees in the US have little legal recourse if companies choose to retaliate for things they say at work or at home.

Damore has said that Google executives had "shamed" him for the views expressed in the memo.

He also blasted Google's efforts at diversity.

"We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company", Brown said in the statement. The duo claims that Google discriminates against white male conservatives. Google has denied the allegations, arguing that it doesn't have a gender gap in pay.

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