James Damore (main picture), the Google employee who was sacked yesterday for publishing his now infamous anti-diversity manifesto, is now threatening to sue his former employer arguing he’s had his free speech violated.
Over the weekend, the software engineer published “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” where he argued that men were simply better suited to work in demanding IT jobs.
The document made world news, Damore was promptly sacked and Google’s top brass quickly issued statements distancing the company from its sentiments.
Interestingly, a number of news reports have now suggested Damore’s document had widespread support amongst many of his colleagues.
The news service Reuters is reporting that Damore said that he was exploring all possible legal remedies and that before being fired he had submitted a charge to the US National Labor Relations Board accusing Google’s upper management of trying to shame him into silence.
“I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behaviour, which is what my document does,” Damore told the New York Times.
However, it’s unclear if Damore actually has a case, In the US the First Amendment protects Americans’ free speech rights from being restricted by the government, not their employer.
Damore could argue that circulating his memo, which called for the inclusion of more diverse ideological viewpoints at Google, amounted to “concerted activities” which is protected under US law.
He also argued that people inherently want to protect women, which in turn creates a hostile environment for men: “As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and agreeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he’s labeled as a misogynist and whiner.”