An ex-Google employee is suing the company over what he alleges are discriminatory practices against white men and workers with conservative viewpoints.
James Damore filed a class-action lawsuit against Google, alleging his political views, race, and gender led to his termination back in August. Damore made headlines in the fall for writing a 10-page memo that blasted the company for trying to create a politically correct culture.
The screed included sexist opinions that Damore held against women in the industry, alleging that they were unfit for some of the roles at the tech company due to their gender.
Among many other claims, Damore wrote that women “have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men,” and that women are more neurotic than men in the workplace.
Following his termination, Danielle Brown, Google’s vice president of Diversity, Integrity and Governance, explained why Damore was fired.
“Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions,” she said. “But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.”
After his termination, Damore decided to seek out legal recourse. He’s joined in his lawsuit by another former Google employee, David Gudeman, who left the company back in December 2016.
The suit seeks redress for employees who were discriminated against due to “perceived conservative political views by Google,” as well as “their male gender” and “their Caucasian race.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Google openly praised women while encouraging employees to “boo” men and Caucasians during company events.
It’s unclear whether Damore has any chance to win this suit. Legal experts said they are skeptical of any court ruling in his favor because Google, as a private entity, can determine whether to hire or fire someone based on their public or private comments while at work.
Damore’s comments violated Google’s employee code of conduct and advanced “harmful gender stereotypes in [their] workplace.” It was up to the company at that point to either enforce their code of conduct, or to ignore it. If they had done the latter, they would have effectively made the code a document that carried no weight whatsoever.