Engineers sue Google for allegedly discriminating against white men and conservatives
Posted January 8, 2018 11:44 a.m. EST
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — James Damore, the Google senior software engineer fired over his controversial 3,300 word essay on diversity, filed a lawsuit against his former employer on Monday.
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. Damore and Gudeman are seeking monetary and other damages.
The 161-page complaint, filed by the Dhillon Law Group in Santa Clara Superior Court, is on behalf of the two men. It is seeking class action status for three groups of people who it claims have been similarly discriminated against: Conservatives, Caucasians, and men.
"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," the suit reads. "Google's open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender."
In response to the lawsuit, Google kept it brief. "We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore's lawsuit in court," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
Google spokesman Ty Sheppard previously told CNNMoney that the company has strong policies against workplace retaliation, harassment and discrimination.
Damore, who worked at Google for three years, was fired from Google in August one week after his memo on Google's diversity policies went viral. Google CEO Sundar Pichai condemned parts of Damore's post that he said perpetuated stereotypes about women.
Damore clarified his views in an interview with CNNMoney, noting that he was not "saying anything about the women at Google."
The suit alleges Google awarded bonuses to employees who "disagreed with and disparaged Damore," keep internal blacklists to prevent conservative individuals from employment opportunities and failed protect employees who expressed support for President Donald Trump.
Gudeman worked at Google from 2013 until December 2016, when he claims he was wrongfully terminated from the tech company, according to the complaint.
He claims he was "chastised for attempting to stand up for Caucasian males and his conservative views" by Google's HR department.
Attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who is a national committeewoman for the Republican National Committee, said "dozens" of current and former Google employees have reached out to her firm after learning she is representing Damore because they've suffering similar discrimination.
During a press conference livestreamed on Facebook on Monday, she said employees at other big tech companies also contacted her firm.
The suit includes allegations from other unnamed current and former employees.
"People don't want to out themselves as conservatives," she said. "Google has engaged in some shocking activities in my opinion. I was truly shocked myself ... There's a Lord of the Flies mentality."
This isn't the only workplace suit Google is facing. Last week, four former Google employees, who previously worked in a range of roles at the company, came forward as part of a revised gender-pay lawsuit. The women allege that female employees are paid less than their male counterparts.