A class action lawsuit filed by former Google engineer James Damore claims there is a pattern of intimidation of conservatives at Google.
James Damore, the author of the famous viewpoint diversity memo at Google that resulted in his firing, has filed a class action lawsuit against Google that alleges that conservatives at Google are systematically intimidated. The lawsuit alleges that, “Google employees who expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace and relevant to Google’s employment policies and its business, such as “diversity” hiring policies, “bias sensitivity,” or “social justice,” were/are singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation of their legal rights.”
The lawsuit further accuses Google of what amounts to racism stating, “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. This is the essence of discrimination — Google formed opinions about and then treated Plaintiffs not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in groups with assumed characteristics.” The lawsuit also alleges that Google operates in an “ideological echo chamber, a protected, distorted bubble of groupthink.”
The lawsuit claims that at one of Google’s weekly company-wide meetings the presence of white males at the company was openly booed by employees. “Not only was the numerical presence of women celebrated at Google solely due to their gender, but the presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with “boos” during company-wide weekly meetings. This unacceptable behavior occurred at the hands of high-level managers at Google who were responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of hiring and firing decisions during the Class Periods.”
At another of Google’s weekly meetings entitled, “Women’s History Month,” Google brought in two presenters, Ruth Porate, the chief financial officer of Google and Eileen Naughton, the human resources director. During this meeting, one of the two presenters noted that some individuals departments at Google had less female employees than male employees and shamed those that didn’t have 50 percent gender parity. Porat and Naughton also allegedly discussed how Google takes gender and ethnicity into account when deciding promotions within the company. It was also stated that Google’s racial and gender requirements during interviews were not up for debate whatsoever according to the lawsuit.
In another case, one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, David Gudeman, described his treatment for expressing his own conservative views at the company. Following an HR meeting in which Gudeman received a verbal warning for his comments on an article posted to the internal Google message boards about male privilege. Shortly after this incident, Gudeman made his own post on the message boards relating to the 2016 election. Many Google employees reportedly became dismayed as it became clear that President Trump was going to win, to which Gudeman stated that anyone, “who believes President Trump will be out to get minorities, women or gays has absorbed a lot of serious lies from their echo chamber. And the echo chamber is entirely one sided. You can’t watch TV or go to movies without being constantly confronted with the leftist world view. Leftists can go their whole life never being exposed to the conservative world view except in shows written by people hostile to it.”
Gudeman also responded to another Google employee stating, “[i]f you truly think Trump is anything like a Nazi or Isis [sic], or wants to hurt gays, women or the disabled, then you are so badly out of touch it borders on delusional. If you don’t truly believe those things but are saying them anyway then shame on you for trying to stir up fear and hatred.”
Shortly after President Trump was elected, a Google employee by the name of Sarmad Gilani posted a thread on the internal message boards in which he stated, “As someone already targeted by the FBI (including at work) for being a Muslim, I’m worried for my personal safety and liberty. Will Google take a public stand to defend minorities and use its influence, or just issue the usual politically nuanced statements about our values.” Gudeman was skeptical of this comment and replied, “In the administration of the most pro-Muslim president in history you were targeted just for being a Muslim? Why didn’t you file a civil rights suit? The Justice Department would take your side if it really happened.”
Gudeman was attacked by many and accused of calling Gilani a liar, Gudeman denied this saying that he, “would not suggest [Gilani] was lying without specific knowledge of the case.” Shortly after this, another Google employee escalated the thread to HR. Shortly after the escalation, HR allegedly reached out to Gudeman to inform him that he was being terminated as he had accused Gilani of terrorism based on his religion and this supposed action was unacceptable to Google.
More examples of Google’s alleged bias against conservatives can be found in the full lawsuit here.