James Damore, an engineer who was sacked from Google for allegedly making comments about the company's attitude towards gender and diversity, has filed a class action suit against it claiming the company discriminates against white men.
While many have condemned Damore's views, others in the Silicon Valley tech world have wondered if there was a bias at Google that disallowed the open expression of politically conservative viewpoints. It could mean comparing being a conservative at Google to being gay in the 1950s. Damore isn't alone in the suit, and it has actually turned into a class action suit with support from another former Google engineer, David Gudeman.
In a press conference this afternoon, Damore's attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, a California representative for the Republican National Committee, elaborated more on the very lengthy complaint and argued that her current clients are far from alone.
And Damore's suit adds that Google's attempts to hire greater numbers of women and other workers from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds represents a form of "invidious discrimination" on the part of the tech giant, "to the detriment of caucasian and male employees". Gudeman was reportedly fired from the company in 2016 after comments he made allegedly linking a Muslim colleague to terrorism.
The complaints in Damore's lawsuit are numerous.
CEO Sundar Pichai said in a note to employees distributed in August that portions of Damore's memo "violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".
But Damore said he would "welcome" the chance to go back to work for Google ― whose workforce is still disproportionately white and male ― and continue fighting for the rights of men, Caucasian people and conservatives.
It's an unjust world for conservative white males, say two who filed a lawsuit against Google Monday. "In one example of this, an employee gave a Peer Bonus to another employee, and stated that the bonus was for 'speaking up for googley values and promoting [diversity and inclusion] in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is [Damore's Memo].' The Google Recognition Team reviewed this justification, considered it appropriate, and allowed the bonus to proceed". A spokesperson tells us, "We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore's lawsuit in court".
After the controversy swelled, Danielle Brown, Google's recently appointed vice-president for diversity, integrity and governance, sent a statement to staff condemning Damore's views and reaffirmed the company's stance on diversity.
The lawsuit alleges Ruth Porat, the chief financial officer of Google, of wrongly considering "gender and racial preferences" when making promotions and "shaming" departments for lacking gender parity.