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Google Lawsuit: Hispanic Engineer Claims Company ‘Blacklisted’ Him for Political Views

former Google employee Manuel Amador
Manuel Amador

Former Google employee Manuel Amador is one of three men who have joined James Damore’s class-action lawsuit against Google. He alleges a workplace in which “hostile, retaliatory, and oppressive conduct” would occur, and that ultimately he was “blacklisted” from future employment with the Silicon Valley giant.

According to the lawsuit, Amador, who joined Google as a Systems Engineer, eventually left the company after being asked to apologize for something he did not say.

Despite being faced with such hostility, Amador continued to voice his opinions, in direct defiance of those at Google that seek to silence and expel all opposing viewpoints. The culture of intolerance, however, eventually became too much for Amador to bear. In or around June 2016, Amador was called to a meeting with Google HR as a result of someone falsely accusing Amador of believing that people have differing levels of intelligence based on that person’s race. Amador has never thought that, does not believe it to be true, and has never written or spoken as if he believed it to be true. This false complaint was filed by an anonymous complainant as means to stifle Amador’s political activities and conversations at Google, was done to harass Amador on the basis of his race and/or gender, and resulted in Amador receiving a letter from Google reprimanding Amador.

Despite the complaint being entirely fabricated, Google sided with the harassers and asked that Amador issue an apology. At that point, Amador felt compelled to leave Google as a result of the hostile work environment created by, and left unchecked at, Google. To stay at Google brought with it an unacceptably high risk that Amador’s personal and professional reputation would be permanently tarnished by those at Google bent on suppressing and expelling those who hold viewpoints different from their own, Google-disfavored races, and/or males. By demanding that Amador apologize over a falsified complaint, Google sent a clear message that it would allow and enable such hostile, retaliatory, and oppressive conduct to occur unchecked.

Amador then released an open letter following his departure.

In his written notice of resignation to Google’s Adam Iwanicki and Brian Kennan, Amador stated that though he profoundly appreciated his involvement on his team, “the way in which [Amador] ha[s] been repeatedly treated by other members of the company (including H.R.) in response to [Amador] speaking up on a variety of subjects, ranging from political events to workplace conditions, ha[s] made [Amador’s] stay at Google too stressful….”

Amador also released an open letter in which Amador said “goodbye” to Google and identified his reasons for leaving. Specifically, Amador wrote that “Google employs a few individuals (from rank-and-file to upper management) who are or have become highly ideological. They have made it one of their ostensible missions to have the entire company conform to these ideologies. Most
of them believe that all of us – me and many others included – should not be permitted to impugn or question the ideologies they want to impose.”

Amador’s letter further elaborates on the politically-charged monoculture that is hostile to certain viewpoints, including conservatism and libertarianism: “many people (including me) have faced contempt, opprobrium, insults, smears, provocations, threats of industry blacklisting, and even frivolous H.R. reports that influence my career (and many others’), in retaliation for voicing my mind. The tone of this treatment was always particularly intense whenever I dared to question the set of ideologies that I found incorrect, toxic or divisive. I have been slurred as a racist, a sexist and ‘privileged,’ in direct contradiction to the content of my thoughts…I have been directly ordered by senior management to ‘stop posting immediately’ on a thread where I had managed to give other Googlers the impression that it was okay to discuss a common myth about free speech.” As a result of this hostility, Amador was forced to leave Google.

After his departure, Amador received a written letter from Google, signed by Manuel Chiatello, from Google’s Human Resources Management, and Adam Iwanicki, Google’s Site Reliability Manager, recommending to any prospective employer that Amador be hired. The letter identifies what Google believed to be several of Amador’s strengths as an employee, including his ability to “integrate into the different types of activities he was involved in,” “good planning capabilities and sound judgment,” “good organizational skills,” his ability to cope with “high volumes of work,” and that “Manuel was friendly, open and tactful with superiors and colleagues. His personal behavior was respectable. He was a reliable colleague. The quality of his work met our requirements.”

Thereafter, Amador was hired by another tech company in Switzerland.

However, when Amador later reapplied to Google, the company allegedly refused, while another employee at Google informed him he had been “blacklisted.”

It is Google’s custom and practice to rehire former employees who voluntarily left their jobs at Google, pursuant to simplified, streamlined rehiring procedures. For example, a former employee wishing to return to his recently vacated position needs only to contact that employee’s former supervisor, request to be rehired, and if the position is available, the employee will be rehired without any formal interview process.

Accordingly, Amador understood and reasonably believed that he could and would be rehired for the same or substantially similar role as his former position at Google. A former colleague, friend, and current Google employee (referred hereinafter as “Amador’s friend”), also referred and recommended to Google that Amador be rehired as a systems engineer, a position Amador is amply qualified for, including because he performed identical or substantially similar work for Google for approximately three years and he had met all expectations during that time.

In or around April 2017, Amador applied for the position of systems engineer at three of Google’s offices, including Mountain View, California.

On April 18, 2017, Google recruiter Taylor Rosser (“Rosser”) emailed Amador, informing him that, despite another Google employee referring him for the position, after “carefully reviewing [Amador’s] background and experience,” Google would not be proceeding with Amador’s application.

After Amador asked why his application had been rejected, Rosser allegedly evaded his questions.

Disturbed by Google’s refusal to rehire him for the same or similar role as he had previously held, which was contrary to Google’s usual practice of rehiring former employees, Amador asked Amador’s friend if he knew why this might be the case. Amador’s friend then approached the Google recruiter, Rosser, to discuss why Amador’s application had been rejected. Rosser stated to  Amador’s friend that all other candidates for the systems engineer positions were more qualified than Amador. This reason given by Rosser was false and pretextual.

Unconvinced that this was the reason, Amador’s friend inquired further and discovered that other applicants had been, at most, designated as an “L3.” Amador, however, was an “L4” during his employment with Google, indicating that Amador was more qualified and/or experienced than the all other applicants, according to Google’s own internal standards.

Amador’s friend then informed Rosser that Amador was a “L4” when Amador left Google, and that it did not make sense that Google would hire an “L3,” someone of lesser experience than Amador, in Amador’s place. Rosser again acted evasively, avoided answering Amador’s friend’s questions and ultimately refused to provide any cognizable answer as to why Amador’s application had been rejected.

Amador’s friend later informed Amador that he believed Google had blacklisted Amador from employment at Google.

Accordingly, Amador is informed and believes, and thereupon alleges, that Google blacklisted him from employment at Google, as a result of his real or perceived political viewpoints, activities, and affiliations, and as a result of his being male, which is, unfortunately, consistent with Google’s unlawful employment practices.

Despite his ample experience and qualifications, including his several years of working at Google in the same or similar role as the position Amador applied for, which he did to Google’s
express satisfaction, Google categorically refuses to rehire Amador.

Despite rejecting Amador’s application, the positions for which Amador applied remained open at the time his applications were rejected, and Google continued to seek applicants from persons of Amador’s qualifications.

In accordance with its unlawful and discriminatory patterns, practices, and policies, Google refused to rehire Amador on the basis of his actual or perceived political affiliation and activities, and his gender. Indeed, as discussed herein, the pattern and practice of refusing to hire candidates because of these protected traits or activities is pervasive throughout Google.

Amador’s application for employment was also rejected by Google as a direct result of Google’s hiring practices that disparately impact actual or perceived, members of Google-disfavored races and/or males. Google permits all hiring personnel a wide degree of discretion in assessing and refusing to hire persons that are not considered to be a “cultural fit” within Google, while simultaneously demanding a more diversified workforce and that all employees are, or become, complicit in Google’s discriminatory hostility toward Caucasian/Asian, conservative men, and toward all those that disagree with Google’s approach to achieving diversity in the workforce.

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