A lawsuit filed against Google includes damning accusations that managers within the company maintained blacklists of employees who have expressed conservative viewpoints and subject them to intense discrimination.
The class action lawsuit, filed on behalf of fired Google engineer James Damore, alleges the internet behemoth keeps actual, physical lists of employees who declare conservative or traditional opinions during political discussions at work, according to a report by Business Insider.
Harmeet Dhillon, a high-profile Republican lawyer in San Francisco, filed the lawsuit and seeks to represent white, male or conservative employees who claim they have faced discrimination at the hands of Google.
Dhillon has been searching to represent other employees who feel they have been treated unfairly after she took Damore on as a client several months ago.
On Monday, Dhillon released a 161-page complaint that is plush with allegations of wrongdoing.
The allegations include claims that several hiring managers had publicly vowed in the past to never hire people categorized as “hostile voices,” otherwise known as conservatives.
For instance, one Google manager declared on an internal forum, “I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever.”
Another manager on a separate forum wrote, “I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today.”
Examples of bosses declaring opposition to employees who hold undesirable opinions were numerous in the lawsuit.
Another hiring manager said, “If you express a dunderheaded opinion about religion, about politics, or about ‘social justice’, it turns out I am allowed to think you’re a halfwit … I’m perfectly within my rights to mentally categorize you in my (d—head) box… Yes, I maintain (mentally, and not (yet) publicly).”
Dhillon’s suit characterizes the statements that provoked managers to make such statements as “tactfully expressed conservative viewpoints in politically-charged debates.”
In one shocking example, Dhillon provides a screenshot of a Google manager openly pondering the creation of a public list of employee names.
One female manager — whose name and face is omitted from the screenshot — wrote in an internal forum, “I am thinking of something like a google doc that accepts comments, and which calls out those googlers that are unsupportive of diversity.”
Her proposal sounded more horrific as she continued.
“Things I’m still pondering: should inclusion on the list require something resembling a trial? should (sic) people be removed after some period of time if they start behaving better?”
Dhillon’s case includes numerous other examples, and reveals that Google employees reported the creation of blacklists to the company’s HR department, even taking their complaints to Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s chief of staff, but were subsequently told that managers have the right to make statements about the kind of people they want to work with.
In response to the lawsuit, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider the company is ready to battle it out in court. “We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore’s lawsuit in court.”
Damore created a firestorm of controversy when he published an internal memo last summer decrying Google’s arbitrary push for diversity. The memo was framed by many on the left as misogynistic and an attack on women in the tech industry.
He was later fired by the company for publishing his views.
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