Are more James Damores on the horizon? Damore is a Google engineer who set off a national firestorm when the company fired him earlier this month for writing a controversial internal memo questioning the merits of diversity initiatives. On Wednesday, the law firm representing him announced they were looking for others like him, showing all the signs of planning a class-action lawsuit.
The Dhillon Law Group, which is representing Damore in his case against Google, posted a blog post on its site Wednesday that encouraged people who shared Damore’s beliefs about Google’s policies to step forward and contact the firm.
Fired Google engineer’s firm seeks Googlers who have been “blacklisted”
The firm said it is interested in hearing from Google employees who have been “discriminated against at Google based on [their] political views” and people who believe they have been “defamed/slandered/smeared/blacklisted at Google” for their “views about affirmative action at Google.”
Although the Dhillon Law Group would not confirm whether it was looking into a class-action lawsuit, gathering a large group of Google employees who have been in similar situation as Damore would be an important step towards one.
Damore is not alone in thinking like this. Many Google employees positively supported Damore’s memo and defended his claims, according to Motherboard.
Google engineer: ‘I can win’ legal case
Damore worked at Google as an at-will employee where you can be dismissed for any reason, but Damore, whose Twitter handle is @Fired4Truth, does not think his firing was fair and is not taking his firing quietly.
On his ongoing press tour since his firing, Damore said he filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on the basis that Google is “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints.” Because Damore said he filed a case with the NLRB prior to being fired, legal experts say he can use retaliatory conduct as a reason his firing was illegal.
In an opinion editorial for the Wall Street Journal, Damore said that his polarizing 10-page manifesto, which sparked his firing, was a “reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument.” In his argument, Damore said women are underrepresented in technology because they are more anxious and have lower stress tolerances than men. That biological argument, which has been debunked by scientists and widely criticized by former Googlers, got Damore fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes,” he said.
Whatever kind of legal action Damore decides to take, he maintains that he has the law on his side. “I’ve been advised not to talk too much about my legal case, but I’ve been told that I can win it,” Damore said in a Reddit Ask Me Anything earlier this month.
This is not the first time Google has faced legal controversy over discrimination this year. The tech giant is currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor for an “extreme gender pay gap.”
And to make matters worse for Google, more women are coming forward with their stories of discrimination at the company. More than 60 current and former Google employees are considering suing Google for a hostile work culture and a pay disparity against women, according to their lawyer.
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