Fired Googler James Damore files a lawsuit claiming "hostility for conservative thought"

Fired Googler James Damore files a lawsuit claiming

Two former Google employees have filed a lawsuit claiming the tech giant discriminates against conservative white men.

The memo that vaulted Damore into the headlines was posted on an internal message board and went viral through that network before being shared with the public.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Monday and seeks class action status, also claims that Google uses "illegal hiring quotas" to employ a certain percentage of women and minorities.

A Google spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc based in Mountain View, California, said in a statement: "We look forward to defending against Mr Damore's lawsuit in court".

It says Google "openly shames" managers who fail to meet goals, even booing them at meetings. Unlike government employees, who have some free speech protections, private employees in the USA have little legal recourse if companies choose to retaliate for things they say at work or at home. The lawsuit alleges workplace discrimination and retaliation.

What did the memo say?

However, Pichai defended the author's right to criticize Google training, workplace ideology and whether programs promoting workplace diversity are adequately open to all.

The suit claims Google maintains a blacklist of conservatives media personalities not allowed on company grounds: It allegedly includes radio host Alex Jones and conservative blogger Curtis Yarvin. Back in August, Google CEO Sundar Pichai addressed the controversy, which questioned the biological ability of women workers in technology, directly in a memo to employees. For example he said, "women, on average, have more: Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance)" which may contribute to lower numbers of women in high-pressure jobs.

It adds that Google staff laughed at Damore for disagreeing with Google's "Bias Busting" training sessions that address unconscious biases.

Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said when Damore was sacked that portions of his memo "violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".

According to the suit, both men, and others, were singled out and systematically mistreated for expressing conservative views that didn't align with Google's.

Another ex-Googler named as a plaintiff is David Gudeman, who says he was an engineer for three years until he was wrongfully terminated in December 2016.

Google is also under investigation by the US Department of Labor over its pay practices.

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