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Google Sued by Former Employee for Firing Over Pro-Diversity Posts

23 February 2018, 04:58 | Hattie Nash

Ex-Google engineer: I was fired for being too liberal


Court documents filed in San Francisco show that Tim Chevalier is suing Google for retaliation, hostile work environment, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, and wrongful termination.

Tim Chevalier, a transgender former site reliability engineer at Google, says that he was sacked for his politically liberal rebuttal to former programmer James Damore's post on one of the company's internal messaging boards.

Chevalier, who is transgender and disabled, asserts that the axe came as a result of his response (via internal posts and memes) to racist and sexist encounters within the company - specifically the James Damore memo.

The Damore lawsuit included almost 100 pages of screen shots of internal communications at Google which the suit alleged demonstrated widespread hostility against conservative viewpoints.

"The anti-discrimination laws are meant to protect marginalized and underrepresented groups - not those who attack them", adds Chevalier.

Eventually, however, Chevalier noticed Google's workplace structure wasn't conducive to minorities - even discriminatory.

The lawsuit opens another chapter on the debate surrounding diversity at Google. He also said biological differences explained why there were more men than women in tech jobs, claiming that men are more suited to high-stress jobs and less prone to neuroticism.

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There are three other employees apart from Chevalier, who alleged that Google disciplined the employees from raising a voice against the discrimination. That was in the form of a 10-page memo circulated internally and claimed women to be biologically less likely to emerge as good engineers than their men counterpart.

"Chevalier's supervisors were critical of Chevalier's political participation and dismissive of his attempts to change Google's culture", the suit alleges. "But like any workplace, that doesn't mean anything goes", Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano told The Daily Caller News Foundation. HR stated that it could be perceived as a generalization of race and gender.

Chevalier "learned that Google defines appropriate workplace speech by the standard of what someone with a cisgender, heterosexual, white, male, upper-middle-class background would say", the suit states. The US National Labor Relations Board also recently ruled in favor of Google after Damore had complained at the board over the manner Google had fired him.

"Ultimately, Google fired Chevalier (in November 2017)", said the lawsuit. "In truth, Google's promise to allow its employees to freely speak their minds only apples to people who represent the majority viewpoint and use the majority's rhetoric". "All employees acknowledge our code of conduct and other workplace policies".

Google, on its part, says that employees should be communicated in a manner that complies with the company's policies.

"We always make our decision without any regard to the employee's political views", the spokesperson said in a statement. However, when an employee defies it, the search giant takes the matter seriously.

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