The Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) engineer, James Damore, who was fired after writing a memo that went viral criticizing the tech giant’s diversity policies, is reportedly considering legal action against the company. If he does, he may be facing an uphill battle.
“Remember the basic rule, the first amendment restrains the government, it does not restrain private employers” Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst, told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.
Additionally state laws may impact his case. “California has a statute, much as we do here in New Jersey, that prohibits affecting a person’s employment status on the basis of political opinions expressed outside the workplace, but political opinions expressed inside the workplace can be the subject of discipline,” said Napolitano who also weighed in on the tone of the memo.
“I have read this memorandum, it’s challenging, there’s a lot of psychological terms in there, there’s a lot of psychological leaps in there, it impresses me as more psychobabble than it is politics” he said.
If the former Google employee had made a political statement he would have had a more of a case in court according to Napolitano.
“If engineer Damore had said, ‘Make America Great Again’ and got fired for that, it would be a far easier case than the sort of psychobabble that he has included in this ten-page memo.”
When Varney predicted Damore would follow through in taking the issue to court, Napolitano responded, “You think he’ll sue for lost wages? I think he’ll lose. The matter will be dismissed once it’s filed, but I think he would file and probably should file.”
Damore’s firing was first reported by Bloomberg and Recode.