Google fires author of anti-diversity memo

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Pichai cut short a family vacation that just started this week to tend to the issue at hand, and called for a town hall meeting with Googlers on Thursday.

In other words, Damore would have to somehow prove he was sacked specifically for his NLRB complaint and not for the memo itself.

The memo stoked a heated debate over treatment of women in the male-dominated Silicon Valley that has boiled for months following sexual harassment scandals at Uber Technologies Inc and several venture capital firms.

Sources at Google said the company only learned of the action via the report.

The difference will likely be at the center of the controversy swirling around a diversity memo written by a now ex-Google employee. Damore could not be reached for comment.

Damore's memo both explains and threatens to worsen this problem.

"They too feel under threat, and that's not OK", he wrote.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai discussed the matter at length and reminded everyone that the company believed totally in free speech.

Wojcicki also addressed the defense of the memo as a form of free speech saying people have "a right to express their beliefs in public, [but] that does not mean companies can not take action when women are subjected to comments that perpetuate negative stereotypes about them based on their gender". He sent a company-wide email stating James Damore has violated the code of conduct of Google's.

Damore said that he was exploring all possible legal remedies and that before being fired he had submitted a charge to the US National Labor Relations Board accusing Google upper management of trying to shame him into silence.

Currently, there is no word on exactly what his NLRB complaint entails; however, its premise claims Damore was subject to "Coercive Statements (Threats, Promises of Benefits, etc.)" amid his firing.

Legal experts were not optimistic about Damore's chances in front of the labor board.

California law prohibits employers from threatening employees in order to get them to change their political views.

"He doesn't fit into any of those categories", Rushing said.

"It's a stretch", Ford said.

The Google logo is displayed at the company's headquarters in Mountain View on September 2, 2015. What seems to have irked the search giant the most is the alleged discriminatory practices followed by the company where men employees are given more favors compared to their female counterparts.

While the document attracted much criticism online, Damore has also received support from a number of high-profile figures - including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.