A former engineer at Google, forced out after speaking out about the company's diversity policies, has launched his long-promised law suit against the tech giant, claiming discrimination.
James Damore last year caused controversy when an internal memo he wrote, entitled 'Google's Ideological Echo Chamber', was leaked. It suggested that gender inequality in the technology industry was down to more than simply discrimination.
His memo had been written following a diversity programme that he described as largely "shaming and 'no, you can't say that, that's sexist'".
He added: "There's just so much hypocrisy in the things they are saying. I decided to create the document to clarify my thoughts."
Damore was dismissed after his memo went public and, although publicly many Googlers condemned both Damore and the memo, privately he claims to have been widely supported.
Damore has teamed up on the lawsuit with David Gudeman, who also worked at Google as an engineer. They've filed a class action in California's Santa Clara County Superior Court in California.
Google, which is owned by Alphabet, has since responded to the case. In a statement, it simply said: "We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore's lawsuit in court."
Although the case is in its early stages, they claim that discrimination and retaliation are rife in the workplace at the tech company. According to their claims, the company fails to look after its employees, and sided with employees who actively bullied Damore.
In the "James Damore vs Google" class action lawsuit, it is alleged that Google defined "‘diverse' individuals as women or individuals who were not Caucasian or Asian." https://t.co/rwQj2txU2C #JamesDamore pic.twitter.com/XEvL6lij2e— Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) January 9, 2018
Most notably, they believe that Google is targeting white men who have right-leaning views. For example, the ex-employees said that anyone accused of being a Donald Trump supporter are targeted with harassment.
"Damore, Gudeman, and other class members were ostracised, belittled, and punished for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being Caucasians and/or males," claimed the lawsuit.
The complaint also alleges that a high level Google colleague "advocated for physical violence against Damore" & that other coworkers harassed him personally. Screen shot below. #JamesDamore pic.twitter.com/PEo4Isd3kW— Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) January 9, 2018
Damore and Gudeman have made a string of other allegations, too. Among other things, Google apparently possesses a blacklist of right-wing media stars who are banned from entering its premises.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has also commented on the high-profile case. He claimed that Damore was fired because the memo violated "our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace" - even though the company had invited
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