Google Engineer Fired Over Ant-Diversity Memo Files Labor Complaint

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(AP Photo/Keystone, Walter Bier, file)

Earlier this week, Google fired one of their engineers after he released a now-infamous manifesto against diversity titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”

According to The Verge, in the memo, James Damore called for Google to replace its diversity initiatives with ones that promote “ideological diversity.”

Damore argued that the gender gaps at Google are the result of biological differences between men and women and that the company shouldn’t offer programs that help under-represented groups.

Damore stands by his words. In fact, he said he was inspired to write the memo after attending one of the company’s diversity programs.

“I went to a diversity program at Google. It was … not recorded, totally secretive. I heard things that I definitely disagreed with in some of our programs. I had some discussions there. There was lots of just shaming and, ‘No you can’t say that — that’s sexist,’ and, ‘You can’t do this.’

“There’s just so much hypocrisy in the things they are saying. I decided to create the document to clarify my thoughts,” Damore said in a recent interview with alt-right YouTube personality Stefan Molyneux.

Damore lost his job Monday after Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a company-wide email which stated that he violated the company’s code of conduct and crossed “the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” Pichai wrote.

“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”

Damore filed a labor complaint on the same he was fired in which he said Google was “misrepresenting and shaming” him.

“I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” Damore told The New York Times.

And according to Wired, Damore might have a good case.

“Yes he has a leg to stand on,” says Eve Wagner, a partner at the Los Angeles law firm Sauer & Wagner who specializes in employment law. “I don’t know if he’ll keep standing, but he has a leg to get through the courtroom door.”

California is an employment “at-will” state, which means Google can basically fire an employee for almost anything. However, before he was fired Damore filed what is formerly known as a charge, with the National Labor Relations Board.

A charge is essentially a complaint about unfair labor practices and according to the National Labor Relation Board, it is against federal law to fire someone in retaliation for filing a complaint with the board.

The labor-relations law does protect employees who discuss their working conditions with each other and Damore’s memo could be interpreted as that, according to Wagner.

Ultimately, it will be up to a judge to decide if Damore was wrongfully terminated by Google or if his memo should be protected by law because it contained legitimate examples of workplace discrimination.

You can watch Damore’s full interview with Molyneux below.

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