Google faces lawsuit for firing critic of anti-diversity memo


Ex-Google engineer: I was fired for being too liberal

Chevalier is one of the four employees who claimed they were disciplined for speaking out internally against racism and sexism. Damore's memo, which became public last August, argued that a gender gap exists not because of sexism, but partly because of "biological" differences between men and women.

"Human Resources explicitly told Chevalier that Google was ending his employment because of his political statements in opposition to the discrimination, harassment, and white supremacy he saw being expressed on Google's internal messaging systems", it adds.

"Chevalier soon recognised that Google's workplace structure and culture were discriminatory toward minorities", the documents say. The lawsuit says Chevalier advocated for the rights of women and minorities in order to push back on the online bullying he regularly witnessed on Google's forums, in order to make Google a more habitable place for him, as well as other minorities.

Google stressed that it is an inclusive environment that encourages debate, but not harassment. He asked to transfer to a new team, but was denied.

Things came to a head after the release of the Damore memo.

The Damore lawsuit included almost 100 pages of screen shots of internal communications at Google which the suit alleged demonstrated widespread hostility against conservative viewpoints.

Google has again been accused of discrimination, retaliation and harassment by an employee. Damore's political stance was very different, however: He wrote a memo questioning the appropriateness of Google's pro-diversity efforts, and has sued the company claiming it discriminates against white male conservatives. A Google employee allegedly responded to the post by noting that asking for ID was just part of the job, Gizmodo reported.

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Damore was sacked over the memo that Google also said violated its codes of conduct, and returned fire with a class-action lawsuit claiming the company actively discriminates against conservative white men.

In a recent ruling, the US National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) shot down Damore's complaint, saying that Google did not violate labour laws when it fired him.

"An important part of our culture is lively debate", Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said. "But like any workplace, that doesn't mean anything goes".

"The overwhelming majority of our employees communicate in a way that is consistent with our policies", Scigliano said.

A picture taken on November 20, 2017 shows logos of United States multinational technology company Google displayed on computers' screens.

In a statement, Google said it prohibits promoting harmful stereotypes based on race or gender and decides on termination, "without any regard to the employee's political views".

For now, Google remains legally challenged and internally mired in the same culture war that's engulfed much of the country.

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