Former Google engineer Tim Chevalier filed a lawsuit against the tech company Wednesday for wrongful termination, retaliation and discrimination (among other complaints).
A queer, disabled transgender, Chevalier alleges Google not only failed to protect against certain employees (e.g., minorities and females) but even suppressed their objections.
“Throughout his life, Chevalier has engaged in political activism, advocating for civil rights for transgender people, women, disabled people and racial and sexual minorities,” the lawsuit’s introduction shows. “When he became a Googler, he continued to engage in political activism, by participating in protests, signing petitions, and engaging in political discourse with his coworkers.” (RELATED: Google Gives Employees Permission To Walk Out On Their Jobs To Protest Trump)
Eventually, however, Chevalier noticed Google’s workplace structure wasn’t conducive to minorities — even discriminatory. Chevalier mainly blames the internal social-networking platforms employees use to discuss happenings in the company, their jobs and hobbies.
The technology was “widely used to belittle and harass women, people of color, LGBTQ employees, and other underrepresented groups,” the lawsuit alleges. “Chevalier pushed back on the online bullying he and others were experiencing, using the same internal-messaging systems to try to educate his employer and coworkers on how to change Google’s working conditions to be inclusive and supportive of underrepresented minorities — such as himself.”
Another former Google engineer, James Damore, is also embarking on a legal battle against the tech giant, after he was fired for writing and sharing a 10-page memo criticizing internal company policies. In contrast, Damore spoke out against some of the company’s diversity initiatives, arguing they are counterproductive while also providing his own suggestions for how to foster productive diversity.
Considering both, aforementioned coinciding lawsuits, which are occurring with multiple entities, Google is being hit from all ends for allegedly squashing internal feedback. But the company, of course, doesn’t agree with the accusations and in fact vehemently denies them.
“An important part of our culture is lively debate. But like any workplace, that doesn’t mean anything goes,” Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “All employees acknowledge our code of conduct and other workplace policies, under which promoting harmful stereotypes based on race or gender is prohibited. This is a very standard expectation that most employers have of their employees.”
Scigliano said Google does not base its decisions on employees’ political views.
“The overwhelming majority of our employees communicate in a way that is consistent with our policies,” Scigliano continued. “But when an employee does not, it is something we must take seriously.”
Unlike Damore, to some extent, it’s not explicitly clear what Chevalier discussed, shared or complained about that ultimately led to his termination.
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