Google did not violate the law when it fired engineer James Damore for circulating a controversial memo inside the company, according to the National Labor Review Board’s general counsel, Jayme L Sophir.
Last year, Damore shared a document that questioned Google’s effort to create a diverse culture while also asserting that women earned less than their male counterparts and were less likely to ascending to executive levels because of inherent biological differences. Specifically, he said women on average are more neurotic and less able to handle stress, and have IQs that are more middling than those of men.
After being fired, Damore filed a complaint with the National Labor Review Board. Last month, the Board’s general counsel said this about Damore’s case, in a letter which came to light yesterday:
Statements about immutable traits linked to sex—such as women’s heightened neuroticism and men’s prevalence at the top of the IQ distribution—were discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment, notwithstanding effort to cloak comments with “scientific” references and analysis, and notwithstanding “not all women” disclaimers. Moreover, those statements were likely to cause serious dissension and disruption in the workplace,” the NLRB concluded. “Where an employee’s conduct significantly disrupts work processes, creates a hostile work environment, or constitutes racial or sexual discrimination or harassment, the Board has found it unprotected even if it involves concerted activities regarding working conditions.
Damore pulled his complaint with the NLRB and the case has since been closed. He is, however, still pursuing a class action lawsuit against Google in which he seeks to prove the company discriminates against white, conservative men.