(WNS)–In a class-action lawsuit filed last week, a software engineer fired by Google in August for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” claims the media giant set illegal hiring quotas at the expense of white males and discriminated against him and like-minded employees for challenging the company’s ideological orthodoxy.
James Damore, co-plaintiff David Gudeman, and three subclasses of individuals—conservatives, Caucasians, and men—cite violations of California and federal labor law in the complaint filed Jan. 9 in Santa Clara County Superior Court. They allege Google, in its efforts to meet its goals of hiring women and “favored minorities, openly shames managers of business units who fail to meet their quotas—in the process, openly denigrating male and Caucasian employees as less favored than others.”
The complaint contains multiple pages of screenshots showing internal messages that detail the toxic culture in which the plaintiffs, particularly white males and conservatives, had to work. Google executives fired Damore three days after his document suggesting biology, not inherent sexism, accounted for the company’s male-to-female employment disparity, became public. Damore had posted the document on an in-house message board weeks earlier.
Private corporations have more latitude in their hiring policies and free speech restrictions than government entities, but Damore’s attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, said Google crossed a line that protects all employees based on race and sex.