Former Google engineer James Damore filed a lawsuit against the technology company for allegedly discriminating against white male conservatives whose political views are unpopular with its executives.
The lawsuit accuses Google of singling out, treating poorly and punishing employees who “expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace and relevant to Google’s employment policies and its business, such as ‘diversity’ hiring policies, ‘bias sensitivity’ or ‘social justice’…”
The lawsuit also alleges that women at Google were celebrated just because of their gender while white males were mocked with ‘boos’ during companywide meetings.
Google fired Damore in August after he posted an internal memo that blamed biological differences between men and women for gender inequality in the tech industry. The document went viral among employees and then leaked to the press.
In the memo, Damore said that women are more neurotic and get stressed easier than men and that’s why they are less likely to succeed in the industry. He also said men have a higher drive for status than women and that may be why there aren’t many women in leadership positions in the tech industry.
Many people were outraged at Damore’s memo. They couldn’t believe that he felt confident enough to post such a note for all of his employees to see. One female Google employee even posted on Twitter that she would think about leaving the company unless the human resources department took action.
There were others who supported the former Google employee’s memo, which sparked a discussion about how far free speech should go in the workplace.
Google said Damore was terminated for violating its code of conduct and advancing harmful gender stereotypes in the workplace.
Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a company wide email that he supported freedom of speech among employees, but Damore’s memo went too far.
“The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender,” he wrote. “Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being “agreeable” rather than “assertive,” showing a “lower stress tolerance,” or being “neurotic.”
Damore said he wrote the memo in hopes of having an honest discussion about how Google was intolerant toward ideologies that didn’t fit into its left-leaning biases.
“I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” he said.
Damore’s lawsuit seeks monetary, non-monetary and punitive damages.