James Damore Is Fighting the Good Fight for White Men in Tech
Jan 10 2018 by Johnny Bowman
Damore is joined in his suit by David Gudeman, a former Google employee who was sacked in December 2016.
All of that said, there could be a few inches of daylight in what seems like an otherwise ludicrous set of allegations: In California it's illegal to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of political views, so if Damore's attorney can successfully argue that his feelings against women in tech are actually part of his political stance rather than bald-faced misogyny, then they may be awarded damages.
Gudeman had also found himself in trouble with human resources before because he had compared a female manager's advice to that of a slave owner to a slave. Google, Facebook, Apple and their peers have all publicly acknowledged their workforces are out of step with the rest of society because they employ mostly white and Asian men in engineering jobs and other high-paying positions requiring computer programming skills. It goes on to say that at times white men and just men were "mocked with "boos" during companywide weekly meetings".
"We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore's lawsuit in court", a Google spokesperson told Reuters.
"The case was filed in California Superior Court", Laura reports.
Damore's lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, says Damore was encouraged by his employer to share his opinion and should not have been fired for doing so, NPR's Laura Sydell reports.
Damore was sacked in August for circulating a controversial "anti-diversity" memo that alleged the gender pay gap was a result of genetic differences between men and women, and cited an "ideological echo chamber" at Google.
It alleged that Google uses illegal hiring quotas to achieve a particular percentage of women and minority ethnic employees.
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".
"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.
In one of his more controversial observations, Damore said it was the inherent biological differences between men and women, more so than explicit discrimination that accounts for any gaps that might exist between the genders in the workplace. Many at Google and elsewhere, viewed the software engineer's comments as insulting to women and a reflection of a broader and growing intolerance towards minorities in the current politically charged climate.
"The Google Recognition Team allowed employees to give fellow employees "Peer Bonuses" for arguing against Damore's political viewpoints".