Google Cancels Town Hall After Employee's Controversial Diversity Memo

Adjust Comment Print

And some are anxious that you can not speak out at work freely.

The decision to cancel the meeting came after the names of Google employees who criticized Damore were made public.

Even with the author of the manifesto fired, CEO Sundar Pichai canceled a town hall meeting over online harassment concerns by some employees.

James Damore said he filed a complaint against Google before he was sacked on Monday. He said that Damore's memo was well supported by scientific facts and is "certainly not an anti-diversity screed".

It added that Google threatened employees because of "protected" activities.

Of the 441 Google employees who responded to the survey, some 56 per cent of those didn't believe the now former software engineer had done enough to get the bullet. Private employers can largely fire workers for any reason.

Michael Willemin, a plaintiff's lawyer with employment firm Wigdor, also said Damore would have a hard time bringing a retaliation claim based on the idea that his memo constituted a complaint about discrimination against men. "He doesn't have to prove the allegation, just that he made the claim for the goal of advancing working conditions of himself and others". The Google engineer, James Damore, confirming his dismissal to Reuters and that he's exploring legal measures in response. Being a federal contractor, Google is subject to periodical government reviews of its business practices, though it's now unclear whether the latest controversy has a realistic chance of affecting its status with the administration.

Given the company's agenda, Pichai could have used a vacation. He had boldly stressed that the under-representation of women in tech-related fields was due simply to innate biological shortcomings in the female body.

Despite circulating internally at Google for more a month, Damore became a lightening rod after Gizmodo published the memo in full over the weekend.

But the manifesto was specifically worded. The engineer, James Damore, was fired, according to Bloomberg, which cited an email from him. "There's just so much hypocrisy in a lot of things they are saying".

"When an employee acts in a way that violates a code of conduct, in a way that creates a hostile environment for its employees, smart companies take action", said Jim Barnett.

Google wants to show that it's taking the issue of diversity seriously.

Instead of the company-wide format, Google will now hold several smaller forums "to gather and engage with Googlers, where people can feel comfortable to speak freely", Pichai wrote.

Sources told Recode that it was Pichai who pulled the trigger on Damore after a "tough debate" with top management on Monday.

Comments