Google fired a software engineer who circulated a memorandum criticizing some of the company's diversity programs and arguing that women had traits making them unfit for certain tech jobs and for leadership roles. The New York Times reports, Contentious Memo Strikes Nerve Inside Google and Out, as does USA Today, Ex-Google Engineer Files Complaint Over Firing. Google stated the reason for the firing was that the memo advanced harmful gender stereotypes.

 The engineer, James Damore, replied to the Times that “As far as I know, 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.” According to USA Today, Mr. Damore has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that his firing violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA makes it unlawful for an employee to be fired for engaging in "concerted protected activity" to protest, for instance, working conditions. 

I've read the memo, Google's Ideological Echo Chamber, and my conclusions are several. One is that Mr. Damore does not have a case. Another is that Mr. Damore lacks maturity, experience and circumspection. That does not make him to deal with the iss

An employee does have a legal right to complain about and/or report what he or she in good faith believes to be illegal conduct or actions in the workplace such as discriminatory employment practices. But Mr. Damore's memo fails to do this. He states that diversity goals can "incentivize illegal discrimination" and asserts that a number of diversity initiatives are "discriminatory practices." These types of vague and general allegations are usually found by the courts to be insufficient to earn legal protection.

Lexington, Kentucky discrimination lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in discrimination cases; contact him at 859-254-7076. 

 

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