I teach my students that in the U.S., one of the basic tenets of HR is to never retaliate against an employee who has filed a complaint with a federal agency against the employer.
James Damore, the engineer fired by google, is saying that this is exactly what happened in his case and he plans to pursue Google in the California Court.
James Damore was fired for circulating a memo saying that due to biological differences, women are less inclined to tech and leadership roles. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai found that Damore’s comments violated the company’s code of conduct by advancing harmful gender stereotypes at Google. Therefore, Damore was fired.
Damore, however, claims that because he had already filed a complaint against Google for discrimination with the National Labor Relations Board, his firing was in retaliation.
At this point, I am not sure of all the facts. My subjective reading of the situation is that Damore seems to be claiming that some type of reverse discrimination against white males is going on at Google because women and minorities are offered developmental workshops and white males are not.
Is that true? I don’t know.
The plot thickens and I am eager to learn more about exactly what the facts are.
Certainly, this is a very interesting and educational teaching case for HR Professors and Consultants.
Given that I am on a sabbatical in the Fall semester, I will be spending sometime following this case and writing about it.