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Ex-Google employee fired over sexist memo drops lawsuit

A former Google engineer who was fired over a sexist memo has dropped a high-profile lawsuit against the Silicon Valley giant in which he alleged the company discriminates against white conservative men.

James Damore and three other men asked Santa Clara Superior Court in California to dismiss the lawsuit in agreement with Google earlier this month. 

It is not clear if a settlement has been reached with the tech firm. 

Damore famously filed the lawsuit in 2017 claiming Google’s efforts to make the workplace more diverse discriminate against conservative white men, after he was fired for penning a sexist memo saying women are ‘biologically’ less likely to succeed. 

The abrupt end to the lawsuit comes as a group of House Democrats wrote to Google calling for answers Monday after an investigation revealed the company has scaled back its diversity and inclusion workplace initiatives, with sources blaming fears over the backlash from conservatives. 

James Damore (pictured with his attorney Harmeet Dhillon in 2018) asked Santa Clara Superior Court in California to dismiss the lawsuit against Google earlier this month

James Damore (pictured with his attorney Harmeet Dhillon in 2018) asked Santa Clara Superior Court in California to dismiss the lawsuit against Google earlier this month

James Damore (pictured with his attorney Harmeet Dhillon in 2018) asked Santa Clara Superior Court in California to dismiss the lawsuit against Google earlier this month

Damore’s attorney Harmeet Dhillon confirmed the suit had been dropped but said it had forced Google to change some of its workplace policies, including workers being able to discuss their working conditions.  

‘As a result of our lawsuit on behalf of James Damore and several other Google workers and job applicants, Google has changed some of its workplace policies to address some of the concerns raised in our lawsuit,’ she told Fox news.  

‘That’s a very positive development for all workers at Google not just the plaintiffs in our lawsuit and it came about as a result of our legal action.’ 

DailyMail.com has reached out to Dhillon and Google for details of a settlement.   

Damore was fired in 2017 after he wrote a 3,300-word, 10-page manifesto complaining about Google’s approach to diversity and saying there are ‘differences between men and women’ which mean women can not get ahead at the firm. 

‘At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership,’ he wrote.

Google's Silicon Valley HQ. The former Google engineer dropped a high-profile lawsuit against the Silicon Valley giant in which he alleged the company discriminates against white conservative men

Google's Silicon Valley HQ. The former Google engineer dropped a high-profile lawsuit against the Silicon Valley giant in which he alleged the company discriminates against white conservative men

Google’s Silicon Valley HQ. The former Google engineer dropped a high-profile lawsuit against the Silicon Valley giant in which he alleged the company discriminates against white conservative men

‘Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.

‘On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways.’

Among the perceived differences is that women have ‘a stronger interest in people rather than things’ which he said explains ‘why women prefer jobs in social or artistic areas.’

Men, he said, are more prone to jobs like coding ‘because it requires systemizing’.

Damore wrote that women were generally ‘more prone to neuroticism’ and that this is why there aren’t so many females in high-stress jobs.  

‘We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.’

The memo was leaked by a coworker and went viral, with some arguing it was proof of a sexist, boys-club culture in Silicon Valley.  

Damore was fired by the tech giant in 2017 after he penned a sexist memo about why women do not get ahead at the company

Damore was fired by the tech giant in 2017 after he penned a sexist memo about why women do not get ahead at the company

Damore was fired by the tech giant in 2017 after he penned a sexist memo about why women do not get ahead at the company

Damore was fired and Google CEO Sundar Pichai released a statement saying the former employee had violated the company code of conduct and ‘cross(ed) the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.’ 

The ousted employee, who won the backing of right-wing supporters, then filed a lawsuit against Google’s parent company Alphabet.

The suit, which also named David Gudeman as a plaintiff, claimed that through the firm’s efforts to improve diversity and inclusion, Damore and other white conservative men were being discriminated against. 

‘Google’s management goes to extreme – and illegal – lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google,’ the suit said. 

‘Damore was surprised by Google’s position on blatantly taking gender into consideration during the hiring and promotion processes, and in publicly shaming Google business units for failing to achieve numerical gender parity,’ it claimed. 

News that the suit has now been dropped comes as Google continues to face criticism over its diversity efforts. 

On Monday, 10 House Democrats including Reps. Yvette Clarke of New York and Andre Carson of Indiana sent a letter to Pichai demanding answers following allegations the company had scaled back its diversity and inclusion initiatives since 2018. 

The letter called for the company to come clean over any diversity and inclusion workforce training programs that have been cut and explain what diversity training is offered to workers. 

On Monday, 10 House Democrats sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai demanding answers following allegations the company had scaled back its diversity and inclusion initiatives since 2018

On Monday, 10 House Democrats sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai demanding answers following allegations the company had scaled back its diversity and inclusion initiatives since 2018

On Monday, 10 House Democrats sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai demanding answers following allegations the company had scaled back its diversity and inclusion initiatives since 2018

‘It is no secret that companies across Silicon Valley and the tech sector have struggled to increase diversity, and Google is no exception,’ the representatives wrote.

‘It is troublesome to hear that Google, an industry leader, plans to scale back efforts to address their lack of diversity when you have previously stated a corporate commitment to improve in this very area.’

This came off the back of an NBC News investigation which said Google has significantly cut its diversity and inclusion programs since 2018, citing six former and current employees. 

The sources told NBC News they believed the company had scaled back its attempts at diversity and inclusion progress because of the backlash the firm has faced saying it is being biased against conservatives.

Google has denied the claims saying they are ‘entirely false.  

‘Any suggestion that we have scaled back or cut our diversity efforts is entirely false,’ the company said in a statement. 

‘Diversity, equity, and inclusion remains a company wide commitment and our programs are continuing to scale up.’  

Source: dailymail US

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