09 January, 2018
James Damore's class action lawsuit, filed January 8 with the Santa Clara Superior Court in California, alleges that employees who fit that description were "singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google".
Damore became a media mainstay after penning a highly controversial 3,300-word memo arguing against Google's perceived culture of political correctness.
This newspaper reached out to Google and this post will be updated.
"Google's management goes to extreme - and illegal - lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google", the suit reads.
The two men "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", Harmeet K. Dhillon from the Dhillon Law Group, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said in the lawsuit. He's not alone in this claim as another ex-employee from Google, David Gudeman, has lent his support to Damore's cause.
The lawsuit says the men were "openly threatened and subjected to harassment and retaliation" at the company, which they describe as an "ideological echo chamber".More news: Anand and Wenjun bag Rapid titles
Damore's memorandum argued that biological differences play a role in the shortage of women in tech and leadership positions.
Google did not immediately return a request for comment. Pichai said that "portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".
Damore's lawsuit is the latest legal challenge for Google, which also faces a suit for unequal pay. They claim they were discriminated against because they are both male and Caucasian, and Google's practices favor women and minorities. Unlike government employees, who have some free speech protections, private employees in the US have little legal recourse if companies choose to retaliate for things they say at work or at home.
In it Mr Damore said Google discriminated against white men and conservatives, and said that people needed to stop assuming that gender gaps in industries implied sexism.
In the lawsuit, Mr Damore said the memo was meant to remain internal and had been written in response to a request for feedback from a diversity and inclusion summit he had attended.