A Google engineer who was ousted for writing a controversial anti-diversity memo is suing his former employer, claiming that the tech giant routinely discriminates against white men and alienates conservatives in its ranks.
James Damore filed a class-action complaint Monday in state court in San Jose after setting off a firestorm in August with a 10-page memo blasting what he called Google's "left bias" and saying the company created a "politically correct monoculture".
Damore - along with former software engineer David Gudeman, who is a co-plaintiff - allege that the tech firm discriminates against conservatives, white people, and men.
Gudeman was sacked in 2016 because he made comments supporting now-President Donald Trump during the presidential campaign and because he questioned a co-worker's claims that he was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation exclusively because he was a Muslim, according to the complaint.
"Google's open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law", the suit reads.More news: South Korea seizes another ship suspected of providing oil to North Korea
This is a developing story.
A spokesman for Google did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. "Google has engaged in some shocking activities in my opinion". Unlike government employees, who have some free speech protections, private employees in the USA have little legal recourse if companies choose to retaliate for things they say at work or at home.
He claims he was "chastised for attempting to stand up for Caucasian males and his conservative views" by Google's HR department. Specifically, he said, the gender pay gap "doesn't necessarily imply sexism".
More broadly, the lawsuit alleges that Google - perhaps dominated by employees who voted Democratic in 2016 - has not shielded Donald Trump-supporting employees from harassment.
The lawsuit, filed Monday by Mr. Damore and another former Google employee with California Superior Court of Santa Clara County, also claims that the company uses illegal quotas in order to hire women and minorities.
The lawsuit also accused Google of maintaining a secret blacklist of conservative media personalities who are not allowed inside the company's offices.