Google faces discrimination claims

Written by Mark Evans
09/01/2018

Two former Google employees have filed lawsuits against Google claiming discrimination to themselves and others for their "perceived conservative political views, male gender and Caucasian race".

One of the former employees is James Damore, who was controversially removed from the company after having authored a widely misreported internal memo on different collective attitudinal differences between men and women, whilst stating that he regarded men and women as equal.

In an unedifying social media storm, where all subtlety rapidly became lost, Google was caught in a difficult position.

The case opens up a range of issues quite aside from the contractual rights or wrongs of Damore’s dismissal, including wider concepts of free speech, what is a truly ‘neutral position’, the political centreline from which views can become too extreme and bring a company into disrepute, and the role of public opinion as expressed on social media as informing disrepute.

Google at the same time faces a separate case filed by former female employees alleging differences in pay between men and women in comparable roles. This case has been dismissed, but subsequently refiled in an amended form.

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