For those lucky few who have forgotten about former engineer-cum-self-proclaimed-freedom-fighter James Damore, I apologize for writing this post. But Damore–who was fired from Google last summer for publishing an internal memo that defended the gender pay gap by pointing to biological difference between men and women–has officially filed a lawsuit against his former employer, reports TechCrunch.
In short, Damore and a former colleague named David Gudeman claim that Google discriminated against white conservative men—and they want payback.
The proposed class-action complaint says, “Google’s open hostility for conservative thought is paired with invidious discrimination on the basis of race and gender, barred by law.” They claim they were discriminated against because they are both male and Caucasian, and Google’s practices favor women and minorities.
For those wondering, Google’s most recent diversity statistics undercut these claims. The company is 69% male and 56% white, although Google does not report how many describe themselves as “conservative.” So it seems a bit unlikely that people in the vast majority of a company truly were the target of a widespread internal conspiracy.
The question remains: Does Damore have a case? Last year I talked to legal experts about his various avenues. Essentially, the engineer has a long legal road ahead and does not have a clear-cut case. One of the only legal arguments partially in Damore’s favor is that California does have a law preventing employers from retaliating against employee’s political activity. But legal scholars told me Damore’s actions would more likely be categorized as ideological.
You can read the full legal complaint here.