James Damore, a former Google engineer who was sacked after he wrote a controversial memo claiming that biological differences between men and women might explain why there's a gender gap in tech, is alleging in a lawsuit that the tech firm discriminates against men, conservatives and white people.
"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 reads.
"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."
The class action suit is the brainchild of James Damore, who Google fired a year ago after he penned a 10-page screed suggesting that women are "neurotic" and under-employed in the tech industry because of "biological" reasons. Now, he is suing his ex-employer for allegedly discriminating against white, conservative males whose views contrast those of Google execs.
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It's an unjust world for conservative white males, say two who filed a lawsuit against Google Monday. Damore, who also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, appeared to embrace his rising political visibility, posing in a T-shirt with the word "Goolag" written in a multicolored style that mimicked Google's familiar logo. The main source of controversy in the memo was the assertion that women may not be as well-suited to jobs in tech companies because of the demands of the job.
More broadly, the lawsuit alleges that Google - perhaps dominated by employees who voted Democratic in 2016 - has not shielded Donald Trump-supporting employees from harassment.
Damore in the memo also criticized the company's continued push for diversity, and advocated for a fairer approach to the evaluation of each employee's skillsets individually.
He is now claiming that Google discriminates against politically conservative white men.
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Google said in a statement: "We look forward to defending against Mr Damore's lawsuit in court".
Pichai said Damore raised some important questions about Google's diversity programs, but crossed a line when he suggested, as he paraphrased, that his female colleagues may "have traits that make them less biologically suited" to competitive positions in engineering.
Damore was eventually fired, but he was never explicitly told what policy he violated.
All this means busy times ahead for Google's legal department, which is also fighting a resurgent discrimination lawsuit brought by ex-Googlers upset they were being stiffed on pay and promotions due to being women. The class action suit is also demanding for a jury trial.
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