Google engineer fired for memo on women wants his job back

Wednesday, 09 Aug, 2017

Google has confirmed firing the employee who had earlier written a memo criticizing the work culture prevalent within the company. Mr. Damore recently said he's considering taking legal action against his former employer which terminated him after he filed a complaint against the firm with the National Labor Relations Board, though none of Google's officials have yet issued a comment on that possibility.

Bloomberg reports James Damore confirmed he was sacked over the memo in an email, saying he is "currently exploring all possible legal remedies".

"These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life".

Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive, agreed that parts of the memo were fair to debate but said much of it violated the company's code of conduct.

Then Damore was sacked - according to media reports and his own email to the far-right news website Breitbart - which sparked a new backlash from those claiming Google was stifling free speech.

The company has 72,000 employees who hold a wide range of views, many surely more offensive than Damore's. According to Motherboard, which first reported on the manifesto, some Google employees have defended Damore, saying his firing represents censorship and indicates that Google has "created a politically correct monoculture" that "shames dissenters into silence".

"Google can claim they value inclusion but this is a test of whether or not their values actually have any teeth", said Erica Baker, former Google employee and cofounder of diversity-in-tech program Project Include, to WIRED.

On Monday, Google fired the software engineer who penned the internal memo titled 'Google's Ideological Echo Chamber' last week.

They say they're concerned how it will make other employees feel, but why should workers worry if a fellow employee has different ideas?

In response to the leaked memo, Danielle Brown, Google's new vice-president of diversity, told employees in an email that "it's not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages".

"He could point and be like, 'hey, I feel like they [Google] are retaliating against me because I made this statement related to some area that they're under investigation for", McNealy said. "Google: You're fired for having conservative views", tweeted Right Wing News owner John Hawkins.

In other words: Josh Horwitz frames the whole debate nicely at Quartz: "Damore's proponents will argue that he was sacked for questioning prevailing dogma about diversity and the best ways to improve it".

Bloomberg named James Damore, an engineer, as the man behind the divisive screed. Such voices would likely increase during a legal case, and Jeffrey Hirsch, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, said the controversy could lead Google to settle any legal action brought by Damore.