Googler Fired Over Anti-Diversity Memo Files Federal Labor Complaint

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Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google fired James Damore — the now-infamous engineer behind a ten-page anti-diversity memo that he wrote and shared with his then-colleagues — on Monday. CEO Sundar Pichai said Damore’s memo, which called the pay gap a “myth” and relied on biological determinism to explain why women are biologically inferior to men, was in violation of the company’s Code of Conduct. “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Pichai said in a companywide memo.

Damore told the New York Times he’d be seeking legal action against the company for terminating him. “I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” he said. Later on Monday, he did just that, filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. There aren’t many details available about the complaint — a representative from Google’s law firm, Paul Hastings, confirmed that the firm is working with the company on Damore’s case — and Damore’s name does not appear in any of the initial filings. The NLRB website classifies the complaint under “Coercive Statements (Threats, Promises of Benefits, etc.).” “It’s illegal to retaliate against an NLRB charge,” Damore wrote in an email to Reuters earlier this week.

Googler Fired Over Memo Files Federal Labor Complaint