Why Google Was Sued For Discrimination

Twitter / James Damore

It’s worse than ‘discriminating against white conservative men.’

At 9:43 am on January 8th, 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Google in the Superior Court of California. The plaintiffs were David Gudeman and the now-infamous author of the Google memo, James Damore. The two filed the lawsuit “individually on behalf of all others similarly situated.” In addition to Google, ten individuals within the company were also sued.

This much-publicized lawsuit could become one of the landmark cases of this century due to the high-profile nature of the parties, the much-divided political climate, and the legal precedence this lawsuit will set.

Due to the length of the legal document and the political nature of the lawsuit, it’s easy to get carried away by the biases of the various media outlets (VICE vs. Breitbart) to represent the case in a certain light.

This article is a summarized version of the main claims against Google made by Damore and Gudeman — free of bias to any extent possible. If you want to read the entire 161-page legal document, you can click here.

Google Are Accused Of Breaking These Laws

Below are the gist of the laws Google have been sued for breaking, along with links to relevant reading about them.

  1. Don’t put in place rules or policies that control (or even try to control) the political activities of employees, which is in violation of California Labor Code § 1101.
  2. Don’t threaten employees for their political opinions or activities, which is in violation of California Labor Code § 1102.
  3. Workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on gender and/or race, which is in violation of several paragraphs in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
  4. Don’t retaliate against an employee who exposes a suspected wrongdoing (even if they’re wrong — they only need ‘reasonable belief!’), which is violation of California Labor Code § 1102.5.
  5. Failure to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

In addition, they are sued for unfair business practices, among them violating the stated policies of the company, under the California Business and Professions Code.

5 Claims About Google’s Supposed Illegal Practices

These are the allegations made by the plaintiffs. It’s up to the judicial system to determine whether these claims are accurate, but here they are.

Google discriminates against employees (and potential employees) on three main grounds.

They are as follows.

  1. Having conservative political views.
  2. Being male.
  3. Being white.

This serves as the origin for the “white male conservative” headlines that are proliferating the news coverage of this lawsuit. In reality, the three are actually separate claims.

A conservative black woman would also be discriminated against for her political views, and an Asian liberal man would be discriminated against for being a man.

Google bullies, mistreats, punishes and fires those who disagree with the popular political ideology within the company.

Disagreeing with the popular political ideology (the orthodox) within Google will have you shamed and punished by orthodoxy. A quote from the legal document below.

“Google employees who expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace and relevant to Google’s employment policies and its business, such as ‘diversity’ hiring policies, ‘bias sensitivity’, or ‘social justice,’ were/are singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation with their legal rights.”

Google forms opinions about their employees based on group identity instead of individual merit.

“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 Caucasians and/or males.”

Not only were their singled out for their political beliefs, but they were discriminated against for something they had no choice about.

Google use illegal ‘diversity’ hiring quotas.

Managers who fail to meet diversity quotas set by Google are publicly shamed, setting the standard and opening the door for discrimination and bullying among employees.

Teams who were seen as ‘diverse’ were cheered in weekly meetings, while teams who were predominantly male were booed.

Google management breaks the law in their hiring practices.

Not only does Google discriminate against conservative thought, but management breaks the law by encouraging hiring managers to take protected categories (like race, age, gender, religion, etc.) into account when determining who to hire. This disproportionately affects white and Asian men who represent the bulk of the work force in tech.

This lawsuit covers many broad questions that need to be answered. How do politics and business merge? Does a private business have the right to enforce one political opinion over the other through groupthink? Are heterodox opinions to be shunned?

With regards to diversity, the question is whether it is acceptable to make hiring decisions based on diversity? If the answer is yes, on what grounds can this be done? Based on these answers, what is the definition of diversity, and who defines it?

This lawsuit stands to be one of the most important cases in recent US labor law history, and carries with it mighty political significance.

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