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Ex-Google employee behind anti-diversity memo sues for discrimination

Ex-Google employee behind anti-diversity memo sues for discrimination

Damore became a media mainstay after penning a highly controversial 3,300-word memo arguing against Google's perceived culture of political correctness.

Ellen Pao's gender-discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers that went to trial in 2015 also brought the issue to light, and more women have spoken out recently to say they've been sexually harassed in the male-dominated industry.

According to the suit, 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".

A lawsuit filed against Google by fired developer James Damore accuses the tech giant of various instances in which conservatives and white men were discriminated against while he was with the company. The lawsuit alleges workplace discrimination and retaliation. However, Damore's attorneys are extra bold in their assertion that another he, along with former Google employee (David Gudeman) and unspecified others, have been wronged to the degree that a class-action lawsuit is warranted. He is asking the court to grant class action status for his lawsuit.

The lawsuit requested an injunction barring Google from discriminating against individuals with conservative political views, as well as for unspecified compensation.

The complaint, filed in a court in Santa Clara, California, says Damore and his colleagues "were ostracized, belittled, and punished for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being Caucasians and/or males".

Not only was the numerical presence of women celebrated at Google exclusively due to their gender, but the presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with "boos" during company-wide weekly meetings.

Engineer James Damore's memo, which was leaked this fall, criticized Google's "left leaning" culture and attempted to argue that women in engineering were paid less than men due to their biological differences, not because of hiring practices. Google terminated Damore for the memo, saying it was contrary to the company's basic values and code of conduct. The company is 69% male and 56% white, although Google does not report how many describe themselves as "conservative".

In the lawsuit, Mr Damore said the memo was meant to remain internal and had been written in response to a request for feedback from a diversity and inclusion summit he had attended.


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