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James Damore, a former Google employee and author of a controversial memo questioning whether women were fit to be engineers, is suing the company for discriminating against Caucasians, men, and unpopular political views.
Damore and another ex-Googler, David Gudeman, filed a class action lawsuit against the search giant in Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California.
“Google 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,’ were/are singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation of their legal rights,” their complaint states.
Damore and his fellow plaintiff also went on to claim their former employer “ostracized, belittled and punished” them, and to argue that Google’s diversity hiring policies amounted to a form of “ “invidious discrimination” that worked “to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees.”
Techcrunch reports that the plaintiffs are being represented by Dhillon Law Group which seeks to also represent all Google employees that have been discriminated due to their “perceived conservative political views”, “their male gender”, and “due to their Caucasian race by Google.”
Damore sparked national controversy last August when he circulated an internal memo questioning the effects of diversity programs and suggesting that women may be biologically inferior engineers. He was eventually fired for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” and violating Google’s code of conduct.
“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a staff email after Damore was fired.
“[We] strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate”, Pichai wrote while reminding Google employees that they have an obligation under the company’s code of conduct to “to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.”