Google has been accused of discriminating against conservative white men in a class action lawsuit filed by two former engineers.The duo say they want to represent all staff discriminated against due to their “perceived conservative political views, male gender and Caucasian race”.James Damore, fired last year over a controversial memo, is behind the suit.His memo argued there were few women in top jobs at the firm due to biological differences in their capabilities.Google sued over ‘sex discrimination’Google fires diversity memo authorMr Damore filed the suit alongside David Gudeman, another former engineer at the firm, at Santa Clara Superior Court in California.Google has yet to respond to the lawsuit.What else does the lawsuit claim?It says Google’s employment practices are illegal, and that they employ illegal hiring quotas to fill posts with women and minorities.It says Google “openly shames” managers who fail to meet goals, even booing them at meetings.It accuses the company of failing to protect employees with conservative views, including supporting US President Donald Trump. The lawsuit says the men were “openly threatened and subjected to harassment and retaliation” at the company, which they describe as an “ideological echo chamber”.What did the memo say?Titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”, it caused fierce debate about free speech in the workplace and diversity in Silicon Valley.In it Mr Damore said Google discriminated against white men and conservatives, and said that people needed to stop assuming that gender gaps in industries implied sexism. The memo’s focus on perceived biological differences proved highly controversial. For example he said, “women, on average, have more: Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance)” which may contribute to lower numbers of women in high-pressure jobs.
In the lawsuit, Mr Damore said the memo was intended to remain internal and had been written in response to a request for feedback from a diversity and inclusion summit he had attended.When James Damore lost his job, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said portions of the memo violated the company’s code of conduct and crossed “the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”But Mr Damore said he had received “many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude” for speaking out.What other action does Google face? The search engine giant is also currently being sued by three women who used to work at Google, alleging it pays women less than men for comparable work.The suit alleges Google is aware of the situation but has not moved to fix it.Google is also under investigation by the US Department of Labor over its pay practices.