Despite a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that Google was within its right to fire employee James Damore, author of the memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” the 28-year-old remains adamant that he was removed because his right-leaning beliefs aren’t welcome in Silicon Valley.
Damore penned an internal memo in July, in which he wrote that “genetic differences” explained why there wasn’t an equal representation of women in tech and leadership. In response, the tech giant fired Damore, accusing him of advancing “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
Since then, Damore has filed a class action lawsuit against the tech giant, alleging that he and another employee were “ostracized, belittled and punished for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being Caucasians and/or males.” Prior to the NLRB ruling, Damore withdrew his charge, instead planning to focus on the class action lawsuit, Harmeet Dhillon, his attorney, said.
“They can claim this wasn’t about politics, but we see time and again that they make politically motivated actions,” Damore said during an interview with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto. “This wasn’t an isolated incident.”
The memo, which is shared in its entirety on Damore’s website, in part focuses on biological differences between men and women. He cited, among other reasons, that women may not have the temperament to move into leadership positions because of “neuroticism, higher anxiety, [and] lower stress tolerance,” which he said could contribute to the higher levels of anxiety that women report.
Before sharing the memo internally, Damore – who said he wanted to share it to make leadership positions more women-friendly – asked superiors for advice, including one manager who suggested he “spread it further,” he said.
“It wasn’t clear that this was wrong at all,” Damore said. “It wasn’t until it became viral that the company began responding and denouncing me.”
In a statement, Google said it has “strong policies” against retaliation, harassment and discrimination in the workplace. “We also strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves,” the company said. “An important part of our culture is lively debate.”