Former Employees Say Google Discriminates against White Men

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 29, 2018

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White guyJames Damore, a former Google software engineer, is suing Google for discrimination.

Damore, 28, and David Gudeman, another software engineer, claim that the company discriminates against conservatives, white people, and men.

The 161-page complaint seeks class action status on behalf of others similarly situated.

According to the complaint,

Damore, Gudeman, and other class members were ostracized, belittled, and punished for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being Caucasian and/or males. Google’s open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender.

The Memo

As CNN reported, Damore worked for Google for three years and was fired in August shortly after a memo he wrote about Google’s diversity policies went viral.

Damore had emailed the memo to the organizers of Google’s diversity meetings, and later posted it to Google’s internal mailing lists and forums.

He had previously raised similar concerns at company diversity events.

According to the New York Times, is his memo Demore argued that

“personality differences” between men and women — like a woman having a lower tolerance for stress — help explain why there were fewer women in engineering and leadership roles at the company. He said efforts by the company to reach equal representation of women in technology and leadership were “unfair, divisive, and bad for business.”

The Guardian says Damore was fired for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes.”

Gudeman was fired after several complaints about him to the company’s human resources department after statements he made about social justice issues and a Muslim employee’s concerns.

Demographics

Google’s workforce is 69% male and 56% white. About 35% of Google employees are Asian, 4% are mixed-race, 4% are Hispanic, and 2% are black.

The US population as a whole is 77% white, 18% Hispanic, 13% Black, and 6% Asian.

Of course, the US population is about 50/50 male and female.

20% of Google employees in technical positions are female.

Reverse Discrimination

Affirmative action programs. as discussed in this blog, are sometimes attacked as a form of reverse discrimination. However, the legality of these programs has generally been upheld.

Anti-discrimination laws were originally created to protect members of minority groups from discrimination.

For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to “discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

However, these laws cover discrimination against a member of majority groups as well, as the US Supreme Court held in the 1976 McDonald vs. Santa Fe Trail Transport Co. decision.

According to NPR, a majority of white Americans (55%) say that white people are discriminated against. However, only 19% say that they feel they have personally been discriminated against when applying for jobs.

A report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) showed that less than 10% of race-related discrimination complaints were filed by whites and 18% of gender-discrimination complaints and 4% of gender-discrimination lawsuits were filed by men.

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