Former Google engineer sues the search giant over Damore memo views

Google employee fired for threatening

An Ex-Google engineer, James Damore, has filed a petition regarding alleged discrimination against the company.

An ex-Google engineer has sued his former employer, claiming that he was wrongfully terminated as a result of expressing his politically liberal opinions-which included opposing harassment and white supremacy-on internal message boards.

Damore was sacked for "advancing harmful gender stereotypes" in August 2017 after the memo, in which he posited that psychological differences between men and women explain the gaping gender imbalance at Google, was leaked and went viral.

Chevalier had reportedly responded against Damore's posts that criticised the search giant's diversity policy. "It is a cruel irony that Google attempted to justify firing me by claiming that my social networking posts showed bias against my harassers", he told The Verge.

Chevalier is described in his lawsuit as an "accomplished software developer and computer scientist" who joined Google as a Site Reliability Engineer in December 2015.

Google however defended its termination, explaining in an emailed statement to IT Pro that spiky debates were embedded into the company's culture but when lines were crossed the company would act "without any regard to the employee's political views".

"But like any workplace, that doesn't mean anything goes", she wrote.

"The overwhelming majority of our employees communicate in a way that is consistent with our policies", Scigliano continued. Instead, the company took action when such employees spoke out about their experiences with racism, sexism and homophobia at work, alleged Chevalier, who is transgender, queer and disabled.

Scigliano said Google does not base its decisions on employees' political views.

Wednesday's lawsuit is another window into the internal of workings of Google's culture. Gizmodo reports that at least three other employees were disciplined by HR for comments that "Google allegedly deemed discriminatory toward white men".

Chevalier's criticism of Google further uncovers suspicions of deep-rooted prejudices that are impotently addressed within the tech firm.

Chevalier regularly participated in these internal discussions, the lawsuit states, "calling out discrimination and harassment for what it was and asking his peers to reflect on perspectives different from their own". A Chevalier-related Twitter account posted a screenshot of the employees' Twitter profiles, all of whom were of colour, women, or trans men.

Not long after, when Chevalier's newly-assigned manager, Peter Dahl, criticized his subordinate for "too much 'social activism, '" despite the fact that Chevalier was rewarded with multiple "peer bonuses" for his internal commentary.

Related news: