Friday, 12 January 2018

James Damore Brings Discrimination Suit Against Google

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James Damore, the former Google software engineer who was fired in August, has filed a class-action suit against the Internet giant, alleging discrimination against white, male, and conservative employees.   

Damore (shown, right) was terminated for circulating an internal memo that questioned Google’s discriminatory and gender-biased work environment. After attending Google’s “Diversity and Inclusion Summit,” he was asked by Google’s human resource department for feedback on the training, which prompted Damore to create the memo.

Also named as a complainant in the suit is another former software engineer, David Gudeman, who was terminated by Google in November of 2016, just days after the election of Donald Trump. In a Dory thread (an internal Google message system where employees can ask questions of other employees), Gudeman had responded skeptically to a Muslim employee, who claimed he was targeted by the FBI. Gudeman was disciplined and later fired for his political views.   

The attorneys involved in the case are seeking other “potential class members” to join the suit against Google. Such plaintiffs would be “Google employees [who] have witnessed multiple instances in which hundreds of “progressive” Googlers would target a single co-worker for harassment, and even potential violence, over a politicized matter, humiliating the person and sabotaging his career.”

The class action complaint (which can be read here) alleges that “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.”

On Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Damore said he was fired “because I attacked their orthodoxy. They really needed to send a message to other employees.”

The complaint outlines a number of accusations against Google’s workplace environment, which created an ideological “echo chamber.” Among those complaints were:

• “Google Failed to Protect Employees from Workplace Harassment Due to Their Support for President Trump.” Managers at Google threatened to “comb through the mailing list archives” of conservative employees for the purpose of finding any possible Code of Conduct Violations. 

• “Google Even Attempted to Stifle Conservative Parenting Styles.” Google’s HR department made it publicly known that traditional parenting styles, such as teaching children traditional gender roles, were unwelcome at Google.

• “Google Publicly Endorsed Blacklists.” Three Google managers publicly endorsed the blacklisting of conservatives for employment at the company. The complaint went on to say that Google even provided tools to facilitate such blacklisting.

• “Google Enabled Discrimination against Caucasian Males.” Liz Fong-Jones, a manager at Google, said during a “Diversity Town Hall” meeting that she “could care less about being unfair to white men.”

• “Google Employees Were Awarded Bonuses for Arguing against Damore’s Views.” Employees were allowed to give “Peer Bonuses," which are typically given out for outstanding performance, simply for arguing against Damore’s views. One such example stated that a bonus was being suggested for “speaking up for googley values and promoting [diversity and inclusion] in the wretched scum and villainy that is [Damore’s memo].” Google’s Recognition Team allowed this bonus to go forward.

It was further alleged that Google maintains a blacklist of conservatives even outside of the company. The complaint details the case of Curtis Yarvin, a conservative blogger who has reportedly advised such conservative luminaries as Steve Bannon and Peter Theil. Yarvin’s “crime” was to simply visit the Google campus to have lunch with an acquaintance. Yarvin’s appearance triggered a silent alarm, which led security to escort him from the premises. 

The suit also lists many outright threats made against Damore and Gudeman by other employees. One e-mail, with the subject “You are a terrible person,” read as follows: “Feel free to pass this along to HR. Keep them in the loop for all I care. May as well do it early. You’re a misogynist and a terrible human. I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. F*ck you.” The e-mail was sent by Alex Hidalgo, a site reliability engineer at Google. Similar threatening e-mails were sent to Damore and Gudeman by other co-workers.

The complaint details how it was Google’s policy to encourage rank-and-file employees to attack other employees for expressing political views that strayed from Google’s liberal orthodoxy.   

On Fox News, Damore’s attorney, Harmeet Dhillon (shown, left), said Google’s actions were “illegal under federal law; it’s illegal under California law.”

It’s incredibly troubling that Google, the world’s most popular search engine, appears to maintain such an overt and draconian liberal bias. It’s doubly concerning that they maintain the ability to scan our searches. It gives one an uneasy, Orwellian "Big Brother is watching" feeling.

Dhillon summed it up well: “That’s what’s really troubling about this. They, at one time, know everything about you. And on the other hand they’re using that information against you.”

Photo: AP Images

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