Finance

Ex-Google engineer fired over gender memo sues for discrimination

Ex-Google engineer fired over gender memo sues for discrimination

In it Mr Damore said Google discriminated against white men and conservatives, and said that people needed to stop assuming that gender gaps in industries implied sexism.

In his memo, Damore had claimed that the disparity in payment of wages between men and women existed because the latter was "biologically" less capable than the former. In doing so, Damore also painted gross generalizations against women, accusing them of being more neurotic and anxiety-ridden, and he believes these supposed traits render women unsuitable for the stress of higher-level tech jobs. And now Damore is signalling that he agrees with them.

Damore said in a lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Santa Clara County that he was harassed and threatened by other Googlers and fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes".

Another former Google engineer, David Gudeman, is also named in the lawsuit. They claim they were discriminated against because they are both male and Caucasian, and Google's practices favor women and minorities. They are seeking monetary, non-monetary and punitive damages.

"Google's open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law", according to the filing in state court in San Jose, California. Any managers whose workforce didn't include 50 percent women were publicly shamed-and so, according to Damore, were the white male employees hired in their place.

"Damore, Gudeman, and other class members 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", the lawsuit said.

Some legal experts have said Damore faces an uphill battle suing Google. One was from an engineer who called Damore a misogynist "and a awful person".

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.

So far, online reactions to the lawsuit have varied.

The suit claims employees were awarded peer bonuses for arguing against Damore: "In one example of this, an employee gave a Peer Bonus to another employee, and stated that the bonus was for 'speaking up for googley values and promoting [diversity and inclusion] in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is [Damore's Memo].' The Google Recognition Team reviewed this justification, considered it appropriate, and allowed the bonus to proceed".


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