By Ethan Baron
The Mercury News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) San Francisco lawyer Harmeet Dhillon is now representing fired Google employee James Damore. Damore was let go from Google over an internal memo he’d written arguing, in part, that women may be biologically less suited for tech and leadership jobs than men.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.
James Damore, fired by Google over a controversial memo, now has legal representation from high-profile Republican party official and San Francisco lawyer Harmeet Dhillon.
Dhillon’s firm has put out a call for other Google employees who believe the search giant discriminated against them because of their political beliefs.
Google fired Damore Aug. 7 over an internal memo he’d written arguing, in part, that women may be biologically less suited for tech and leadership jobs than men. Much of the rest of the memo focused on his belief that Google has a left-wing bias that “has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.”
In a blog post Tuesday, the firm discussed its move against Google.
“Dhillon Law Group is investigating Google’s employment discrimination against employees on the basis of their political views and other protected characteristics, as well as retaliation against employees for complaining about these violations of labor laws,” the San Francisco law firm said.
Google spokesman Ty Sheppard said the company had “strong policies” against workplace retaliation, harassment and discrimination.
“We also strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves,” Sheppard said. “An important part of our culture is lively debate. But like any workplace that doesn’t mean that anything goes.”
Harmeet Dhillon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Damore. Dhillon is California’s representative on the Republican National Committee, and is a former vice vice-chair of the California Republican Party and chair of the San Francisco Republican Party.
This year, Dhillon represented the Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation, when they were fighting the University of California, Berkeley, to get controversial conservative writer Ann Coulter to speak on campus.
Her firm, in the blog post, asked Google employees to get in touch “both on a fact-gathering basis and for purposes of potential legal representation” if they had ever been discriminated against by the company over their political views.
The firm also seeks Google employees who have been written up for “un-Googly” conduct because they’d refused to “comply with the political orthodoxy at the company” or who have been retaliated against for complaining about workplace discrimination or punished for their views on affirmative action at the firm. Employees sanctioned for “blowing the whistle on illegal employment practices at Google” are also being sought.
No lawsuit related to Damore’s firing has yet been filed.
Damore’s termination dragged Google into the nation’s culture wars, with conservatives of many stripes viewing him as a free-speech champion, and the far-right taking aim at the firm over claimed censorship of conservative views.
“March on Google” protests at nine of the firm’s U.S. offices had been scheduled for Aug. 19 but organizer Jack Posobiec said the demonstrations had been postponed because of “terrorist threats” from the far left.