Former Google engineer sues, claiming he was fired for speaking out against bullying
- Another ex-Google employee is suing the tech giant, alleging that he was fired for speaking out against racism, sexism and homophobia in the company's internal forum, reports USA Today. Tim Chevalier claims Google fired him for defending people of color, women, LGBTQ employees and workers with disabilities against attacks from others in the workplace.
- Chevalier, a former site stability engineer, says in his suit that he tried to push back against bullying in the forum and to teach the company and other employees how to change working conditions and be more inclusive and supportive of under-represented groups of employees. The lawsuit also alleges that HR told Chevalier he was being fired because of his statements against white supremacy, discrimination and harassment. Chevalier, who was fired in November 2017, filed the suit in San Francisco Superior Court.
- Google claims its policies don't allow stereotyping based on race or gender, that open debate is part of its culture and that its employment decisions aren't based on an employee's political beliefs. However, a spokesperson for Google told USA Today that their policy "doesn't mean anything goes."
Chevalier's suit follows one by James Damore, who claimed Google discriminates against conservative white men and their beliefs. The National Labor Relations Board recently disagreed with Damore that his firing violated the law, but his suit continues, meaning the issue is far from resolved.
Damore and Chevalier seemingly hold opposing viewpoints; add in the lawsuit filed by a group of women against Google for pay discrimination and we've got an interesting dialogue about what is actually happening at Google, to say the least.
The tech industry, in particular, continues to struggle with diversity. But diversity initiatives alone aren't enough; attracting diverse talent must be followed up with sound retention strategies. This requires building a culture of inclusiveness, whereby every employee is valued, has a sense of belonging in an organization and has access to the same opportunities as everyone else.
A survey by the Kapor Center for Social Impact with Harris Poll found that mistreatment often forces women, African Americans and other ethnic groups, and LGBTQ employees out of companies. They often face unfair practices involving promotions and job assignments, as well as other discriminatory behavior, including bullying, sexual harassment and stereotyping. About 80% of those polled said they encountered at least one of those problems.
HR professionals can work with managers to examine hiring and retention practices and hold exit interviews. Conducting these types of audits will allow them to flag patterns of misconduct.