Google Engineer's Firing Fuels Debate Among Employees

Randall Padilla
August 11, 2017

Two years into his tenure in the top post and after 13 years of service at Google, Pichai must calm and unite a workforce divided over the firing of former engineer James Damore.

In the controversial 3,000 word memo sent by Damore, the 28-year-old engineer blamed the gender pay gap in the tech industry on biological differences between men and women.

Google employees made up 441 of the responses to the survey, and 56 percent of them said they did not think Google should have fired Damore.

Google employees across the globe were scheduled to tune in to a companywide town-hall meeting late Thursday in which executives plan to field employees' questions voted on by their peers.

Google, Facebook, Uber, and other technology companies have been reiterating over and over again that they are trying to improve hiring and working conditions for women.

"People get offended because it goes against the left's ideology", Damore said during an interview on a conservative talk show.

Justin Damore was sacked from the Silicon Valley behemoth on Monday after national attention around his 10-page assessment that biological differences between males and females explained the lack of women in engineering roles.

Ironically, then, Google has also been backing efforts to protect websites like Backpage, a classified ad site commonly used by human traffickers to sell sexual encounters with children.

To that end, other USA lawmakers - including powerful groups like the Congressional Black Caucus - have pressed Google and its tech industry counterparts to get them to change their hiring and management practices. He added that the memo originally was 10 pages and was leaked with much of that scientific data supporting his gender views edited out. Google said in June that 69% of its staff were men, 56% were white and 35% were Asian.

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.

Eileen Naughton, Google's human-resources chief, said at the meeting that she was pleased to see employees holding spontaneous support groups after the election.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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