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Google engineer fired for sexist memo sues ex-employer

Google engineer fired for sexist memo sues ex-employer

James Damore's class action lawsuit, filed January 8 with the Santa Clara Superior Court in California, alleges that employees who fit that description were "singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google".

James Damore on Monday filed a class-action complaint after setting off a firestorm in August with a 10-page memo blasting Google's "left bias" for creating a "politically correct monoculture".

The engineer who was sacked by Google after he criticized its diversity policies claims in a lawsuit that he and others at the internet giant were harassed over their conservative political views.

The lawsuit also accused Google of maintaining a secret blacklist of conservative media personalities who are not allowed inside the company's offices.

Google did not immediately reply to a Law&Crime request for comment. Those violations include wrongful termination, workplace harassment, workplace discrimination, retaliation failure to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and unfair business practices, amongst others.

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"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.

Damore, who worked at Google for three years, was sacked from Google in August one week after his memo on Google's diversity policies went viral.

Google chief Sundar Pichai said "portions of the memo violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".

Echoing Damore's initial blog post, the suit also accuses Google of "producing an ideological echo chamber" and "a protected, distorted bubble of groupthink" where political correctness was elevated over merit.

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. Unlike government employees, who have some free speech protections, private employees in the USA have little legal recourse if companies choose to retaliate for things they say at work or at home. The suit alleges that Google's diversity efforts are unlawful, citing "illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favored minority candidates" as an example. The company is 69% male and 56% white, although Google does not report how many describe themselves as "conservative".

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