A judge in the anti-discrimination case of former Google engineer James Damore denied the company’s attempts to have the suit thrown out and allowed the plaintiffs to proceed to a phase where they can prompt the tech company to produce data and answer questions on its hiring practices.
Damore and another plaintiff are alleging that Google discriminated against them based on their political leanings. They filed a class-action lawsuit in January on behalf of all job applicants who claim Google discriminated against them because they were white or Asian, or because of their politics.
Google argued it would be impossible for it to produce hiring data because several million people applied for its jobs during the four-year period covered by the suit, Damore’s lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, told Fox News on June 10.
“The court said, ‘No, you have to allow discovery on this and we are going to find out if you discriminate on these bases,’” she said.
The suit was filed in Santa Clara Superior Court in California. It was forced by Google into arbitration by a third party, Dhillon said.
While arbitration can be disadvantageous to plaintiffs, she noted that California law requires a degree of transparency regarding hiring practices and the discovery will allow the plaintiffs “to delve into [Google’s] employment practices and see what they do behind the scenes.”
“It’s a notoriously opaque process,” she said, referring to Google’s employment process.
According to the lawsuit, “Google employees who expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects … such as ‘diversity’ hiring policies, ‘bias sensitivity,’ or ‘social justice’ were/are singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation of their legal rights.”
Damore was fired in 2018 after an internal memo he wrote went viral. He argued in the 10-page document that Google had trouble hiring women to tech and leadership roles partly because the jobs catered more to the aptitudes and proclivities that are generally more prominent among men. Damore had proposed tweaking the jobs so they would be more inviting to women, rather than discriminating against men in hiring.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Damore’s memo was in violation of the company’s Code of Conduct because it advanced “harmful gender stereotypes.”
Google and other large tech companies have been known to have a predominantly left-leaning workforce.
More than 90 percent of all political donations made by Alphabet employees, including Google and YouTube, went to Democrats between 2004 and 2018, according to a report by GovPredict, a research and analytics company, citing FEC records.
A video recorded at a Google company meeting after the 2016 election showed top leaders bemoaning the victory of Donald Trump over his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“I certainly find this election deeply offensive, and I know many of you do, too,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin said at the meeting.
Trump and other Republicans have accused Google of putting conservatives at a disadvantage in its products.
“Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good,” Trump wrote in an Aug. 28, 2018, tweet. “They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
The tweet came after PJ Media reported that among the top 100 search results for “Trump” on Google News, 96 percent of them were from left-leaning media. The Epoch Times conducted a similar experiment on multiple dates, each time producing a similar result.
Google has denied political bias in its products.
Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly characterized the order issued by a judge in James Damore’s lawsuit. The Epoch Times regrets the error.