Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Fired Google engineer continues blitz against company

Fired Google engineer continues blitz against company

According to an op-ed titled "Why I was sacked by Google" in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, James Damore, who was sacked for writing a 10-page anti-diversity memo, said: "Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work". It began last weekend after engineer James Damore circulated a memo that claimed biological gender differences helped explain why women are underrepresented at the company. Damore was sacked days after the memo went viral online.

Google fired Damore on Monday. Google was justified in revoking his right to represent it as an employee.

But many have come to Damore's defense, particularly those who oppose what Damore called Google's "left bias".

In late June, Google announced the hiring of Danielle Brown as its new head of diversity.

But Google executives, including the chief executive officer and the chief of diversity, deemed the document to be in violation of the company's code of conduct because it "perpetuated gender stereotypes". The company is building a new VR headset to follow the Daydream View and Cardboard, which was so popular that Google has shipped over 10 million of its cheap, do-it-yourself headsets since their debut in 2014. "But our Dory questions appeared externally this afternoon, and on some websites Googlers are now being named personally", Pichai said in an email to staff.

A number of employees sent emails to Pichai and told managers that they planned to skip the meeting because they were anxious that they would face online reprisals for speaking out.

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Damore, who has emerged as a hero of conservative media, stands by his memo, saying he considered it a "reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument". Fired4Truth, widely believed to be Damore's Twitter account, is closing in on 50,000 followers in a matter of days.

"For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, nearly like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of 'Don't be evil, ' he wrote".

Damore has also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and has expressed interest in taking legal action against Google. Of them, more than half - 56% to be precise- said they didn't think it was right for the company to fire Damore.

The Labor Department's suit was heard by one of its own in-house administrative law judges (ALJs), which ruled last month that the demands were "over-broad, intrusive on employee privacy, unduly burdensome, and insufficiently focused on obtaining the requested information".

"I am a moderately conservative Googler", one employee wrote, "and I am and have been scared to share my beliefs. What is leadership doing to ensure Googlers like me feel *invited and accepted*, not just tolerated or safe from angry mobs?"

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