James Damore sues Google for discrimination against conservative white men
- James Damore, the ex-Google engineer who was fired after publishing a manifesto that included various controversial comments about women in technology, is suing the company for bias against conservative white men, reports The Verge. David Gudeman, another fired engineer, is joining him in the suit. The plaintiffs allege that Google unfairly discriminates against employees that don't agree with its social or political stances.
- Google fired Damore for "perpetuating gender stereotypes," due in part to his blog post questioning the value of diversity and commenting that women were biologically unsuited to technology careers. The lawsuit alleges that conservative white men are "singled out, mistreated, systematically punished" and fired for their views.
- A Google spokesperson said that the company "look[s] forward" to defending itself against Damore's lawsuit in court. In the meantime, Google is returning to court to face lawsuit filed by female ex-employees who claim the company pays women less than men for similar work.
The irony in the Damore case is that many tech companies have struggled to infuse their purported values through inclusive hiring and, in some cases, pay practices — for everyone other than white men.
How the court decides Damore's case may be, if anything, interesting to watch. According to The Verge, a few of the characterizations claimed in the suit seem "debateable."
Males still head up most corporations, dominate the C-suite, earn higher salaries than most women and non-white workers and are promoted at higher rates than most employees in general. Employers, led by HR, don't need to wait for court decisions to step up their inclusive hiring practices and discipline those who violate zero-tolerance policies.