Friday, 22 February, 2019

Google engineer says he was sacked for posts defending diversity

GettyImages-876647908 Google engineer says he was sacked for posts defending diversity
Theresa Hayes | 23 February, 2018, 02:00

"An important part of our culture is a lively debate".

Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano said the company was enforcing its policy against promoting harmful stereotypes. "But like any workplace, that doesn't mean anything goes".

The suit is the latest in a series of litigation actions against the tech giant that center on issues of diversity and discrimination. A Google employee allegedly responded to the post by noting that asking for ID was just part of the job, Gizmodo reported.

James Damore was sacked from the company after objecting to diversity training, with a memo arguing that the company's efforts in that regard were misguided, partly due to fundamental biological differences between men and women.

"Chevalier's lawyers allege that Google employees used the company's internal messaging systems and "posted discriminatory and harassing comments", and that Chevalier - who identifies as transgender, disabled, and queer - called it out and "[asked] his peers to reflect on perspectives different from their own".

Chevalier posted multiple charged responses to Damore's memo, calling it "misogynistic" for saying biological differences between men and women were behind the gender pay gap and that women were less suited to be engineers. One of the posts questioned by the HR representative was an internal Google+ post in which Chevalier criticized Republicans for "affiliating themselves" with the white supremacists at the Charlottesville protest. According to the suit, Google objected to Chevalier's use of the phrase "white boys" in his blogpost because it "could be perceived as a generalization about race and gender".

Tim Chevalier told Gizmodo that it was a cruel irony that Google attempted to justify firing me by claiming that my social networking posts showed bias against my harassers. "The anti-discrimination laws are meant to protect marginalized and underrepresented groups - not those who attack them". Damore was sacked from the company past year when he authored an internal memo saying there are biological causes behind gender equality. Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board, which Damore also petitioned for wrongful termination, found that Google was within their rights when they fired Damore. "Ultimately, Google fired Chevalier".

"The overwhelming majority of our employees communicate in a way that is consistent with our policies", Scigliano said.

In his lawsuit filed in a California court, Damore said that Google "ostracised, belittled and punished" him and a fellow plaintiff.

A picture taken on November 20, 2017 shows logos of U.S. multinational technology company Google displayed on computers' screens.

For now, Google remains legally challenged and internally mired in the same culture war that's engulfed much of the country. "We always make our decisions without any regard to the employee's political views".