James Damore, right, a former Google engineer fired in 2017 after writing a memo about the biological differences between men and women, speaks at a news conference while his attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, listens, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in San Francisco. Damore discussed his lawsuit alleging that Google discriminates against workers with conservative opinions. (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke)
James Damore, a former Google engineer fired in 2017 after writing a memo about the biological differences between men and women, discusses a lawsuit during a news conference, alleging that Google discriminates against workers with conservative opinions, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke)
SAN FRANCISCO — A Google engineer fired for writing a memo questioning Google’s commitment to diversity has filed a lawsuit alleging his ouster was driven by a corporate culture that discriminates against white men and people with conservative views, including supporters of President Donald Trump.
The 161-page complaint filed Monday on behalf of James Damore and another former Google engineer depicts Google as an elitist company that shuns employees who dare to deviate from a liberal agenda embraced by its management and most of its workforce.
The lawsuit was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court and comes five months after Google fired Damore for writing a 10-page memo entitled, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” In that missive, Damore criticized Google for pushing mentoring and diversity programs and for “alienating conservatives.” He also blamed biological differences for the paucity of women in tech.
Damore, 28, says he submitted early versions of his memo to Google’s human resources department without being reprimanded. Just a few days after Damore posted the memo on an internal message board, it was leaked to a technology blog. Google fired him Aug. 7 amid an uproar among workers offended by its themes.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Damore had violated the company’s code of conduct “by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
But the lawsuit contends Damore’s firing reflects Google’s intolerance for opinions that aren’t widely shared by its workforce. The complaint seeks to be certified as a class action that will represent all current and former Google workers who believe they were discriminated against for expressing conservative viewpoints, a group that also could include women.
The lawsuit also accuses Google of discriminating against white men like Damore.
Google said it looks forward to defending itself against the allegations in court.