Google is in hot water after two former employees filed lawsuits concerning diversity in the workplace. Tim Chevalier is suing the media giant for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination after being fired in November 2017. James Damore is filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination and discrimination, but he believes he was targeted as a conservative white male — the opposite of Chevalier's claims.
Damore wrote a memo in which he said women aren't biologically built for careers in engineering, which allegedly led to his termination. Chevalier says he was fired for pointing out racism and sexism in internal forums, and that his views were targeted because he is transgender, queer, and disabled. But it was his response to Damore's memo that ultimately got him fired.
Mashable reported on the contradictory legal claims:
Chevalier began at Google in 2015, noting it was mostly cisgender, straight white men and that "its workplace culture reflected their views." He advocated for women and minorities when he started to see online bullying throughout internal forums, but the following year, his manager criticized him for doing so. Chevalier complained after his manager told him "that wasn't what we hired you for" and was not given help or a transfer to a different team, instead being told to consider leaving the company.
Damore released the anti-women memo that has since gone viral, and Chevalier called Damore and his views misogynistic, describing white male privilege, and using the phrase "white boys." Google also found memes on their meme generator that discriminated against white males, and was fired for these reasons. Damore was fired around the same time for his discriminatory memo.
Some people are surprised that someone was essentially too liberal for Google:
Google is now topic of a cultural conversation, and facing the heat from both sides of the argument.
Others disagreed over what this fireable offense means:
Actually it's a battle over conformity not diversity.— Blind Faith (@BlindFaithBook) February 23, 2018
Respect the direction of your opinion. However, I believe it to be a factor of corporate culture rights. Google has every right to dismiss employees who represent them in social media by 'true name' as this significantly links the company to the same views expressed publicly.— Mudpie Mouse (@ElectricLynn) February 23, 2018
And many believe that Google was in the right:
As well it should be, shouldn’t it? I mean, as long as we are committed to a society that doesn’t judge & attack people based solely on their race or gender.— Paul M Winters (@RealPaulWinters) February 22, 2018
Or does that principle only count for people we don’t hate? 🤔
and so it should be - singling out any race and gender is discriminatory— Scott Robert (@scootrshort) February 22, 2018
Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano commented on the lawsuit:
All employees acknowledge our code of conduct and other workplace policies, under which promoting harmful stereotypes based on race or gender is prohibited. This is a very standard expectation that most employers have of their employees. The overwhelming majority of our employees communicate in a way that is consistent with our policies. But when an employee does not, it is something we must take seriously. We always make our decision without any regard to the employee’s political views.