Harmeet Dhillon: California Judge Said ‘Sorry Google’ in Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit

James Damore and his attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, in San Francisco on January 8, 2018.Michael Liedtke / AP
Michael Liedtke / AP

Harmeet Dhillon discussed the latest developments in an ongoing employment discrimination class action lawsuit filed against Google in a Friday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Rick Manning.

Dillon’s eponymous law firm is representing class applicants in the aforementioned lawsuit. “[They are] are job applicants who are alleging that they have been discriminated against because of their gender — male — because of their race — which would be white or Asian — and because of their political or perceived political viewpoints and activities as conservatives,” said Dhillon. “Google filed three motions, a motion to dismiss — which is called a ‘demurrer’ — a motion to strike, and then a motion for judgment on the pleadings.”

Dhillon continued, “The Supeior Court judge in Santa Clara County took apart all of those arguments in a nine-page order and said, ‘Sorry Google, you’re going to have to face these charges in court. Now we’re going to be negotiating with Google over a discovery plan, and then pretty soon we’re going to start getting some documents from them that relate to our request to certify class.”

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Google claimed it lacked the capability to discriminate against job applicants on the bases of political viewpoints and activities, real or imagined, explained Dhillon.

“One of the things that Google is objecting about in court was that literally hundreds of thousands or potentially millions of people have applied to work at Google over the four- or five-year class period, and how were they going to be able to go through those?” stated Dhillon. “They said, ‘How can we say who’s conservative? How are we supposed to determine that?’ I pointed out to the judge, I said, ‘Judge, it’s 2019. Twenty years ago they would make the argument, ‘How are we going to comply with the gender case? There are many women who applied. How are we going to comply with the race case? So many people of different races apply.'”

Dhillon went on, “And today, ‘How are you going to say who’s a woman and who’s a man?’ That’s the liberal argument, we can’t even tell who’s a woman or who’s a man, or what races people are. Race is a fake construct. All of these concepts are potentially fluid, and yet the legislature has seen fit to protect people against discrimination, and it’s the job of the court to get that resolved. That’s why we’re here.”

Google reviews the personal data of job applicants by drawing on its own collection of user data, according to Google insiders, said Dhillon.

“People inside the company have told us that Google uses extensive collections of data on people in order to determine their fitness to be an employee,” remarked Dhillon. “They use this x-factor called ‘Googliness.’ You might have seven or eight people interviewing somebody, but one of them can veto it. It’s extremely subjective and allows for the insertion of illegal factors into the process.”

A Think With Google column defines “Googliness” as “a mashup of passion and drive that’s hard to define but easy to spot.” “Googliness” involves fitting into Google’s “culture” and “appreciating diversity,” said a senior Google recruiter to CNBC in 2017.

Dhillon highlighted Google’s focus on what the technology company refers to as “underrepresented minorities.”

“They have a particular term called URM: underrepresented minority,” stated Dhillon. “That’s where we got the class determination [and] this class definition that we proposed. Anybody that is not white or Asian is an underrepresented minority in Google-land, and that’s actually a common term in Silicon Valley.”

Dhillon asked, “How did Google give preferences to certain categories of underrepresented minorities for certain jobs? In fact, there are certain jobs created there where only people of a certain color or gender are permitted to apply, and in fact, they’ll even create jobs for people if they find a good candidate. So white men and conservatives and Asians are categorically shut out of certain jobs at Google, and that violates California labor law.”

Google describes its pursuit of “diversity” as building “a workforce that’s more representative of the users we serve.” It established an executive position entitled “Global Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion” towards this end.

Google’s “Diversity Annual Report” in 2019 highlights its efforts to decrease the share of its workforce composed of men. It breaks down the racial composition of its workforce into five categories: “ASIANX+,” “BLACK+,” “LATINX+,” “NATIVE AMERICAN+,” and “WHITE+.” The word “merit” is not mentioned in the report.

Mansour invited Dhillon to respond to self-described conservatives claiming to support the values of free speech and expression who oppose her legal endeavors.

“Conservatives, frankly, have gotten used to living on their knees,” replied Dhillon. “I’ve really gotten tired of seeing so-called mainstream legacy conservatives of conservative think-tanks and conservative publications scold people like me for daring to say that Google, Twitter, Facebook, and other big tech companies should live by the same rules that other media companies are required to live by, or the same consumer rules that people who sell calls or dishwashers have to live by, which is that if your product doesn’t work like you advertise it, or you lied about it, then you’re held liable for that.”

Dhillon went on, “But somehow I’m not a conservative because I insist on the rights of conservatives — and the rights of normal people, the rights of guys — to be considered equally for jobs. I think these are real, significant questions. The laws apply to all of us in America, and we all have rights.”

Dhillon praised Breitbart News for highlighting her legal work in its reporting.

Protectionist legislation facilitated and preserves the oligopolistic status quo of the world’s largest technology companies, estimated Dhillon.

“It is lazy to criticize suggestions regarding regulation of the big tech companies without pointing out that they got to be that big thanks to protectionist government laws such as Communications Decency Act 230,” Dhillon declared. “Nobody mentions that. They would not be monopolies, duopolies, behemoths, that stifle rights and cheat consumers because of their monopoly-duopoly power had they not had the government protectionism — section 230 — and other protectionism.”

“We wouldn’t be in this situation,” if not for protectionist laws, said Dhillon. “We’d be in a more normal situation. There’d be some competition. There’d be four or five different Facebooks, and Twitters,and Googles, and we would have choices as consumers. So it is dishonest to simply say, ‘Regulation bad. Free market good,’ because we don’t have a free market right now when it comes to the big tech companies.”

Combating technology companies’ political censorship is “the fight of our time,” concluded Mansour.

Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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