The engineer Google fired over a memo he drafted regarding differences between men and women in the workplace announced Monday he’s filing a class-action lawsuit against the company.
James Damore and another former Google engineer, David Gudeman, allege in the suit that Google unfairly discriminates against white men with conservative political views. Damore and Gudeman say in the suit they aim to represent all Google employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of their sex, race, or political views.
Google targeted and punished employees who “expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace,” the suit filed by Dhillon Law Group claims. Damore and Gudeman also claim Google shames hiring managers who fail to meet illegal diversity quotas in place, and that male and white candidates are openly said to be “less favored” than others in the hiring process.
In one part of the suit highlighted by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Damore and Gudeman claim the company “stifled” conservative parenting styles and encouraged every sexual practice imaginable except heterosexual monogamy. “Google furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics,” the suit states. “The only lifestyle that seems to not be openly discussed on Google’s internal forums is traditional heterosexual monogamy.”
A footnote next to the term “plurality” reads: “For instance, an employee who sexually identifies as ‘a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin’ and ‘an expansive ornate building’ presented a talk entitled ‘Living as a Plural Being’ at an internal company event.”
Damore was fired in August 2017 after an internal memo he wrote on workplace identity politics, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” was leaked to the press. His observations in the memo suggesting biological differences between men and women could help explain why fewer women work in tech, rather than entirely result from institutional sexism, ignited a firestorm of criticism. It was called a “sexist” and “anti-diversity manifesto” in the press.
Google quickly ousted him from the company, saying he had violated the code of conduct by “advancing harmful gender stereotypes.” “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” wrote CEO Sundar Pichai in an internal memo announcing Damore’s departure.
In the memo, Damore agreed women face barriers due to sexism in the workplace, and urged employees to consider how to make the workplace more inviting for women, but rejected the idea that sex-based hiring is the solution. He discussed biological differences between men and women that could explain the gap, such as that women tend to be relatively interested in people versus things, and are less driven by a desire for higher status.
A bullet point he wrote claiming women on average tend to be more neurotic than men, with “higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance,” caused particular unrest. He also said women are more likely to be agreeable and gregarious, rather than assertive.
“People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us,” he wrote in the memo. “Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document.”
Damore and Gudeman filed the suit in California’s Santa Clara Superior Court, and are seeking monetary, non-monetary, and punitive remedies.