James Damore's class action lawsuit against Google


#1

James Damore, a former Google engineer who was fired in August after posting a memo to an internal Google message board arguing that women may not be equally represented in tech because they are biologically less capable of engineering, has filed a class action lawsuit against the company in Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California.

His claims: that Google unfairly discriminates against white men whose political views are unpopular with its executives.

Damore is joined in the 161-page suit by another former Google engineer named David Gudeman, who spent three years with Google working on a query engine. According to Gudeman’s LinkedIn profile, he left the company in December 2016 and has been self-employed since.

The lawsuit, filed by Dhillon Law Group, says it aims to represent all employees of Google who’ve been discriminated against due to their “perceived conservative political views by Google,” due to “their male gender by Google” and “due to their Caucasian race by Google.”

More specifically, it accuses Google of singling out, mistreating and systematically punishing and terminating 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’…”

Damore isn’t holding back any punches here. According to his filing, Google employs “illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favored minority candidates, and openly shames managers of business units who fail to meet their quotas—in the process, openly denigrating male and Caucasian employees as less favored than others.”

The suit also claims that the “numerical presence of women celebrated at Google” was based “solely due to their gender” while the “presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with ‘boos’ during companywide weekly meetings.”

Somewhat redundantly, it adds 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.”

The lawsuit is seeking monetary, non-monetary and punitive remedies.

Damore’s firing last summer became the talk of the nation, with many in Silicon Valley outraged that Google didn’t act even more swiftly to terminate him. Elsewhere, many wondered whether the firing would have a chilling effect on employees’ ability to openly discuss their viewpoints.

Google said it fired Damore for violating its code of conduct and advancing “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” Damore meanwhile began a kind of press tour, denouncing the company for being close-minded and worse. In an interview with CNBC, for example, he compared being a conservative at Google to “being gay in the 1950s.”

In a press conference this afternoon, Damore’s attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, a California representative for the Republican National Committee, elaborated more on the very lengthy complaint and argued that her current clients are far from alone.

In fact, she said she spoke with “dozens” of employees at Google to formulate the lawsuit and that she expects there will be “future lawsuits” to explore, as well.

To underscore her point that Google’s policies need to be amended, she cited so-called TGIF meetings at Google, telling reporters that during Damore’s tenure, “managers were called out and shamed and mocked if they didn’t have 50/50 gender parity in [their respective] units.” She called the goal “fair” but asked, rhetorically: “How do you get there? Job fairs. Making yourself more attractive. Not by saying, ‘White guy, you can’t have that job because that’s reserved for a woman or [other] minority.’”

Asked separately who is financing the suit, Dhillon told us in an email earlier today that “nobody but my law firm is financing the lawsuit at this time. We may choose to seek funding in the future, but neither Peter Thiel (I have been asked by others) or anyone else is involved besides my clients and my firm.” (Thiel, the billionaire investor, famously financed multiple lawsuits against Gawker Media.)

The new suit isn’t the only one Google is having to defend itself against. In September, three female former Google employees filed a lawsuit against the company, saying it discriminates against women. To wit, says the suit, Google pays women at all levels of the company less than men, as well as assigns them lower job tiers with less opportunity for upward mobility.

Last month, a fourth complainant joined their suit.

The Labor Department is separately investigating systemic pay discrimination at Google. The company says it hasn’t found a pay gap in its own analysis.

You can read the lawsuit filed by Damore and Gudeman here:


Hi tech Fascism
#2

This case could take the entire ‘diversity’ / ‘White Privilege’ issue to the Supreme Court… I wonder where they will come down on ‘equal justice under the law’ and by extension, just how solid are Title II and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act… Can businesses hire on a discriminatory basis and can they tailor their product to a specific customer and deliberately exclude another based on sex or race?..


#3

Sorry, I agree with Google here. I may not agree with their views but he had to GO! That is like telling the CEO to fuck off and expecting no repercussions.


#4

The Damore lawsuit is giving legitimacy to claims of anti-white discrimination in the MSM. Progress.


#5

But he didnt do that? If you have children that will be going to colleges and are getting jobs, this will be relevant as this lawsuit might bring down affirmative actions / diversity hiring.


#6

I said for many years this was discriminatory, how can you punish one generation for what may have happened in another ? Why would you punish some 18 year old white who is far better qualified than an 18 year old black or women who was even around when this took place , by putting them ahead simply because of color or sex ? .


#7

His internal memo which was distributed far beyond his intended audience and leaked to the public was a rather well reasoned (if you believe his logic) that Google’s hiring practices were discriminatory and ultimately harmful to the future wellbeing of the company. I tend to agree with you that if a company has a right to hire and fire based on discriminatory desires, then all companies have that right… except that they don’t. We also here that Google tailors their products to discriminate against conservatives… is that an different from rejecting gays or women who are likely to disrupt the work environment with a likely pregnancy. From my point of view, you are correct… Google has the right to hire and fire as it chooses… as should Hobby Lobby and they should also be able to make products for a specific audience… as should a cake baker or a shoe maker for that matter…


#8

There are ways to do things and ways not to do things. This kid thought he had privilege. If I agree or not, it is business and if he has a problem with it he can find another job.


#9

Just being honest…this whole Damore lawsuit appears to be more about airing Google’s dirty laundry as opposed to actually winning anything.


#10

Might probably was… but I think it will take on a life of its own… least wise I do hope so… This is just another one of those subjects that have been tied up in PC red tape… and it needs a fresh airing…


#11

I really dont care for the Google as a company, bc i use other default internet search engines. However, Google, like other internet giants such as zuckerbook and twitter, now holds immense social and political power among the mass, as it is the go-to intenet search engine for virtually a majority of people (as it is defined here). Hence I think it is quite wrong for the company to enforce a certain bias on their search queries, and ill provide you with a few examples bellow. If the company punishes “wrong thing” within its company, is that justified? When its bread-and-butter is guidance of thought in the forms of internet search?

Google is first and foremost a tech companies, and with the way it is hiring, it may go down sooner than expected. Yahoo took the plunge and elected an incompetent CEO to lead bc shes a females, and now it is selling most of itsself to CHina’s alibaba and Verizon, and Google may jsut face the same fate.

Again, I dont care for what the company does, but I hope it has some bearing on the college admission

These are fresh google searches, and feel free to conduct them yourself.


#12

My point is, I hold this company to the same standard I do any company! I will not be a hypocrite, I refuse. Hire and fire who you want and bake a damn cake for who you want.

There are limits but this guy crossed the line and if he is either so stupid that he does not know where a line is or so arrogant that he thinks his shit doesn’t stink he is the issue.

You do not make waves like that and expect no repercussion and I agree with what he was saying.

Another entitled snowflake that stuck a foot in his own mouth.


#13

And what line is that? It is an internal discussions concerning about biological realism, backed up with cited academic sources. You cannot discriminate against race and gender, but why can you discriminate against political diversity?


#14

Company policy and it should have been kept quiet until he could get support! He if I have issues with something I either find another job or deal! Their business and they can run it as they want.


#15

I 100% agree with you but the ONLY way this becomes a universal thought is for it to end up before the Supreme Court… this could be the challenge to federal discrimination laws that have harmed this country so badly… He will get what he gets but he has every right to ‘equal opportunity’ as anyone else… I support his case even if I agree with Google’s right to fire him…


#16

I agree with your views but it conflicts with the free business model I support. Still to get things hashed out in this court would not be a bad thing.


#17

That’s the deal. As long as Title II and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act remain a part of the business landscape, business does not have that right and only through the grace of liberal courts have things gotten as ridiculous as they have… If this guy had written the same paper as a black man or a women, and the company fired him for the same exact reason, they would have immediately rang their EEOC rep…


#18

Lisa Durden, an outspoken black woman, found out about that. She and I went back and forth a little about it but she is a different person when it is a private conversation. So it is beginning to work both ways. I told hold the view that we all have free speech and we deal with the consequences and she thinks that there should be no consequences about her words. Admittedly it is totally different but the same topic.


#19

Do read James Damore’s lawsuit. Get past the absurdity of his framing his grievance in terms of identity politics—he’s a victim of Google’s failure to honor “viewpoint diversity.” Apparently under California law this is a legitimate claim.

Last year’s firing episode at first seemed a case of Google clumsily suppressing dissent over race and gender policies adopted after the company’s workforce was found to be overwhelmingly white and male. Now it seems like something else.

If the postings and emails cited in Mr. Damore’s lawsuit are a reliable indication, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have lost control of the culture. Google’s leaders may even be a little afraid of their employees.
Mr. Damore’s firing last year by CEO Sundar Pichai certainly rang of panic at the time. Google explicitly invites freewheeling discussion and provides internal forums for it. Mr. Damore did not, in his famous memo, object to Google’s diversity goals. His ruminations on biology may be jejune, but unwelcome facts are still facts. Witness the work of David Lubinski at Vanderbilt, which goes a long way toward explaining the recruiting frustrations of many a tech and engineering-based company. Prof. Lubinski and colleagues find that women who are gifted in math and science tend to be broadly gifted, and consequently have lots of opportunities in a wide range of fields, whereas men with math talents tend to be narrowly gifted, and all end up in math-science-engineering fields.

Not that Mr. Damore’s lawsuit, in which he is joined by another recently fired male engineer, turns on the validity of his Darwinian musings. In the postings and emails he quotes, colleagues spew hate at Mr. Damore, apparently without consequence.

We see them giving each other employee-awarded “peer bonuses,” supported by Google’s “Recognition Team,” for denouncing him. We see Google employees explicitly reject talking to, listening to or working with colleagues whose politics they don’t share.

We see them proposing blacklists. One paints as incapable of coming up with anything “creative or innovative” any meeting consisting of “40-something white men,” and Google HR approves the sentiment. An employee asks if “men” were changed to “women,” would the post still be approved? No response.

Another posting calls on Googlers to decline to participate in industry panels alongside “cheesy white males.”
One Googler who says he refuses to “tolerate” broad categories of people (e.g., Trump voters) might seem regrettable, especially after it turns out he’s German and lives in Switzerland. When it becomes a competition, a cultural disease is at work. Incipient here is a world that people in Google’s home state are already familiar with. It’s the world of California’s maximum-security prison system, where inmates survive only by kneeling to one identity-based gang or another.

If there is a lesson here for other companies—and don’t take this the wrong way—it’s the value, broadly, of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

To work together on software, people don’t need a company-supplied forum to discuss their politics, their sexual interests, their cultural antipathies. Offering it seems pointlessly divisive.

Perhaps the most symbolically disturbed posting is one demanding that control of Google be wrested from the “horde of racist and sexist people we’ve already hired.”

To be white and male is not to be sexist and racist. The statement “I don’t want to be denied an opportunity because of my gender and race” is as valid for a white male as it is for a black, gay, female or furry. (Yes, Google’s internal discussion board includes consideration of the “furry” lifestyle, which involves dressing up in animal costumes.)

Some predict Google will quickly settle to avoid discovery of more emails and postings, including from top management. What seems worse, from a public-relations perspective, is a culture inveterately hostile to the liberal principle “I may disagree with what you say but defend your right to say it.” This can’t be good in a business whose mission is to organize the world’s information.

Messrs. Brin, Page and Pichai likely feel a tad helpless. The U.S. legal system imposes a need to be race-aware, gender-aware, etc.—to require quotas in all but name, since quotas are illegal. Google simultaneously faces lawsuits and regulatory investigations directed at its alleged shortchanging of women on pay and promotions.

Its internal mood may also partly be a victim of self-esteem run amok. It’s a wonder many Googlers don’t worship Donald Trump —he also can’t tolerate to be disagreed with. A good, old-fashioned Presbyterian horror of self-righteousness, once a feature of American life, is nowhere to be seen.

Part of growing up is learning to live with your emotions; today’s shortcut is to believe whatever your feelings are, they’re justified. Humanity never met a dictator or demagogue who said, “I’m a bad person. I want to do bad things.” The worst among us always feel justified.


#20

Hmm…what will Google do with conservative gay people, alt right furries, or conservative “otherkin". It’s a confusing question that we must address!