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James Damore has filed a class action lawsuit against Google, claiming it discriminates against white men

He was ousted last year for writing a memo that Google CEO Sundar Pichai described as “offensive.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, holding  microphone and gesturing while seated onstage
Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Du Yang/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

A Google engineer who was ousted for writing a controversial anti-diversity memo is suing his former employer, claiming that the tech giant routinely discriminates against white men and alienates conservatives in its ranks.

The class action suit is the brainchild of James Damore, who Google fired last year after he penned a 10-page screed suggesting that women are “neurotic” and under-employed in the tech industry because of “biological” reasons.

In the complaint, filed in California court, Damore contends that Google “ostracized, belittled and punished” him and a fellow plaintiff, and that he and others who share his views at Google long have been “singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation of their legal rights.”

And Damore’s suit adds that Google’s attempts to hire greater numbers of women and other workers from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds represents a form of “invidious discrimination” on the part of the tech giant, “to the detriment of caucasian and male employees.”

A spokesman for Google did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Damore’s class action suit comes about four months after his firing. At the time of his ouster, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, described Damore’s comments as “offensive,” arguing they violating the company’s Code of Conduct and would advance “harmful gender stereotypes in the workplace.”

Nevertheless, the incident touched off a national debate about sexism in Silicon Valley — and the liberal-leaning tech industry’s tolerance for conservative workers and leaders, particularly during the presidency of Donald Trump.

The complaints in Damore’s lawsuit are numerous. He finds fault in company executives like Ruth Porat, for example, the chief financial officer of Google. Damore contends that she and her colleagues “shamed” departments for lacking gender parity and wrongly considered “gender and racial preferences” when making promotions.

Damore also alleges he raised his concerns with Google’s human resources representatives — and that they acknowledged conservative workers “did not feel included,” according to the lawsuit. That’s when he wrote his now-infamous memo, called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” The document, eventually leaked to reporters, resulted in a number of Google employees making “multiple threats” against him, he argues.

More broadly, the lawsuit alleges that Google — perhaps dominated by employees who voted Democratic in 2016 — has not shielded Donald Trump-supporting employees from harassment. Damore and his lawyer offer a litany of other examples of bias, even suggesting Google frowns upon “traditional heterosexual monogamy.”

And the class action filing says that Google managers tried to institute a blacklist, preventing the hiring of many conservatives. Other evidence raised in the lawsuit suggests Google blocked some conservatives from visiting its campus, including conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who runs Infowars.

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