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Sacked Google employee sues firm over 'discrimination'

Sacked Google employee sues firm over 'discrimination' Featured

Sacked Google employee James Damore has filed a case against the search behemoth, claiming it discriminates against white men who do not subscribe to the prevailing dominant political view at the company.

Joining in the case is another former employee, David Gudeman, who left Google in December 2016 and has been self-employed since then.

Last year, Damore (below, right) wrote a screed on diversity on an internal company mailing list which did not exactly gell with the company's views. After his thoughts leaked out and became fodder for many publications to chew over, he lost his job.

The lawsuit, which seeks monetary, non-monetary and punitive remedies, claims: "Google’s open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law.

"Google’s management goes to extreme — and illegal — lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google."

james damore vertThe suit includes numerous screenshots from internal Google communications which appear to show employees supporting intolerance towards certain points of view.

"Google employees and managers strongly preferred to hear the same orthodox opinions regurgitated repeatedly, producing an ideological echo chamber, a protected, distorted bubble of groupthink," the suit claims.

"When Plaintiffs challenged Google’s illegal employment practices, they were openly threatened and subjected to harassment and retaliation from Google. Google created an environment of protecting employees who harassed individuals who spoke out against Google’s view or the 'Googley way', as it is sometimes known internally.

"Google employees knew they could harass Plaintiffs with impunity, given the tone set by managers — and they did so."

The suit points out that people who disparaged and disagreed with Damore's views were rewarded by the company.

"The Google Recognition Team allowed employees to give fellow employees 'Peer Bonuses' for arguing against Damore’s political viewpoints. Peer Bonuses were typically reserved for outstanding work performance or for going above and beyond an employee’s job duties. Defending the liberal agenda, or defending violations of California employment law, is not in any Google employee’s job description," it said.

This is the second case filed by employees against Google; three women who worked for the company filed a lawsuit in September 2017, claiming that they had been paid less than their male counterparts.

Additionally, the company is facing a Labor Department investigation into alleged systemic pay discrimination. Google denies it indulges in any such discrimination.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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