March 23, 2018

Engineer Behind Google Memo Sues Over Discrimination Against White Male Conservatives

11 January 2018, 09:19 | Pamela Mathis

White male conservatives have it out for Google. Sean Gallup Getty Images

White male conservatives have it out for Google. Sean Gallup  Getty Images

James Damore, the programmer who was sacked from Google previous year after circulating a manifesto that argued that women are less biologically suited for tech jobs, has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, alleging that it discriminates against conservative white men.

Damore filed alongside co-plaintiff David Gudeman and the lawsuit also seeks class action status in order to represent, "all employees of Google discriminated against (i) due to their perceived conservative political views...(ii) due to their male gender...and/or (iii) due to their Caucasian race".

Another portion of the filing reads, "Google employs illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favored minority candidates, and openly shames managers of business units who fail to meet their quotas - in the process, openly denigrating male and Caucasian employees as less favored than others".

James Damore was sacked by Google after he issued a manifesto in which he stated that women were biologically inferior engineers.

At the in-person training, entitled "Bias Busting", Google discussed how biases against women exist in the workplace, and how "white male privilege" exists in the workplace.

There's no court date set as yet, but Google isn't backing down on its stance. Last month Google scored a win in the lawsuit when a California state judge dismissed class action claims.

Two former Google software engineers are suing the tech giant, claiming that it discriminates against white people, conservatives and men. The manifesto claimed women were more prone to "neuroticism" than men, and essentially tried to make the case that girls just typically don't make good engineers.

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The suit goes through exhaustive details of Damore, the memorandum he put together to point out how Google could still hire in women and minorities without lowering the bar of employment quality with diversity quotas, and how women could be assigned to jobs better suited to the strengths of their gender rather than trying to shoehorn them into positions where they didn't necessarily excel. The suit contains over 100 pages of internal memos and emails, which Damore's attorney's allege demonstrate an anti-conservative sentiment with the company and a basis for ongoing discrimination against individuals like their client.

The suit features an image of an e-mail from Alex Hidalgo who works at Google who explicitly told Damore that he was a misogynist and that he would harass him until one of them was sacked.

All this is happening while Google is fighting back claims that women at the company have been systematically underpaid.

The lawsuit is seeking monetary, non-monetary, and punitive remedies.

But the lawsuit contends Damore's firing reflects Google's intolerance for opinions that aren't widely shared by its workforce.

"We look forward to defending against Mr Damore's lawsuit in court", said a Google spokesperson when asked for comment.

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