Today James Damore, the ex-Googler who was fired for writing a memo on gender-inequality and affirmative action at Google, filed a class action lawsuit against Google in the Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California.
Live broadcast of news conference for our class action law suit against Google https://t.co/zDnnHcjqzi
— James Damore (@JamesADamore) January 8, 2018
Damore’s claims for the lawsuit is that Google unfairly discriminates against white men whose political views are unpopular with its executives.
Damore co-filed the 161-page suit with another former Google engineer named David Gudeman, who spent three years with Google working on a query engine and has been self-employed since December 2016.
We interviewed James back in August after the discussion on his memo intensified, read the full background on the memo here where we discussed the memo’s origins from a company public forum that Damore posted into an internal Google message board.
One of the arguments that Damore made in his memo drew on behavioral psychological data and tried to attribute the lower numbers of women in software engineering to women on average not possessing the right personality traits to succeed in positions.
According to Techcrunch, the lawsuit, filed by Dhillon Law Group, says it aims to represent all employees of Google who’ve been discriminated against due to their “perceived conservative political views by Google,” due to “their male gender by Google” and “due to their Caucasian race by Google.”
The filing accuses Google of singling out, mistreating, and systematically punishing and terminating 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’…”
In the filing, and echoing the facts that Damore shared with us, 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 and that numerical presence of women celebrated at Google” was based “solely due to their gender” while the “presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with ‘boos’ during companywide weekly meetings.”
Damore and Guildman’s lawsuit is seeking monetary, non-monetary and punitive remedies.
After Damore was fired from Google last summer, the memo and the issue of gender inequality, as well as political transparency within corporations, became the front stage.
Many wondered whether the firing would have a chilling effect on employees’ ability to openly discuss their political views.
Google said it fired Damore for violating its code of conduct and advancing “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
In a press conference Monday afternoon, Damore’s attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, a California representative for the Republican National Committee, elaborated that the claims from her clients are amongst a growing list.
Dhillon said that she spoke with “dozens” of employees at Google in formulating the lawsuit and expects that there will be other lawsuits to explore in the future. The attorney mentioned certain policies that need to be amended, such as “so-called TGIF meetings at Google” where managers were called out and shamed and mocked if they didn’t have 50/50 gender parity in [their respective] units.” She called the goal “fair” but asked, rhetorically: “How do you get there? Job fairs. Making yourself more attractive. Not by saying, ‘White guy, you can’t have that job because that’s reserved for a woman or [other] minority.’”
Google is also facing a lawsuit from September when 3 female former Google employees filed a suit against the company stating that it discriminated against women and paid women at all levels of the company less than men, and assigned them job tiers with less opportunity for mobility. In December, a fourth woman joined their suit.
The Department of Labor is also separately investigating systemic pay discrimination at the company, a fact that Google says it has not found in its analysis.