James Damore, a former Google engineer who wrote a controversial memo criticizing the company’s diversity policies, sued the company on Monday for allegedly discriminating against white male conservatives.
Lawyers for Damore and David Gudeman, another former engineer, filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California that charges Google “discriminated against employees for their perceived conservative political views.” Harmeet K. Dhillon, the committeewoman of the Republican National Committee for California, is representing the two men.
“Google’s open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law,” the lawsuit says. “Google’s management goes to extreme — and illegal — lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google.”
A Google spokesperson said in a statement: “We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore’s lawsuit in court.”
In August, Google employees spoke out against Damore‘s internal memo, which said that biological gender differences make women less effective programmers and argued the company suppressed conservative voices. Google condemned Damore’s document, and he was subsequently fired.
In recent years, the company has made efforts to increase the diversity of its workforce. In 2017, Google reported that 91% of its employees were white or Asian, while women accounted for 31% of its global workforce. In September, three former female Google employees filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the company, alleging systematic pay discrimination at the company.