Tim Chevalier, a transgender former site reliability engineer at Google, says that he was sacked for his politically liberal rebuttal to former programmer James Damore's post on one of the company's internal messaging boards.
Chevalier alleged that Google staff frequently posted discriminatory and harassing comments on internal social forums.
"Throughout his life, Chevalier has engaged in political activism, advocating for civil rights for transgender people, women, disabled people and racial and sexual minorities", the lawsuit's introduction shows. "The anti-discrimination laws are meant to protect marginalized and underrepresented groups- not those who attack them". "Human Resources explicitly told Chevalier that Google was ending his employment because of his political statements in opposition to the discrimination, harassment, and white supremacy he saw being expressed on Google's internal messaging systems".
As for the James Damore angle to the latest developments, Chevalier's allegations might sound familiar with what Damore had accused Google of more than a year ago. He also said biological differences explained why there were more men than women in tech jobs, claiming that men are more suited to high-stress jobs and less prone to neuroticism.
A transgender man is suing Google, claiming he was sacked for standing up for the LGBTQ community and other minority groups on the company's workplace message boards.
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Damore was sacked for "advancing harmful gender stereotypes" in August 2017 after the memo, in which he posited that psychological differences between men and women explain the gaping gender imbalance at Google, was leaked and went viral. According to the suit, Google objected to Chevalier's use of the phrase "white boys" in his blogpost because it "could be perceived as a generalization about race and gender". Damore and Chevalier may be ideological opposites, but controversy stoked by conversation in Google's forums have sparked similar causes of action that's left Google embroiled in legal hotwater and a cultural flame war on all sides.
At the same time, Chevalier's lawsuit contradicts the claims that Damore previously made in his lawsuit, that Google does not reprimand liberals.
"An important part of our culture is lively debate", Scigliano said.
Chevalier "learned that Google defines appropriate workplace speech by the standard of what someone with a cisgender, heterosexual, white, male, upper-middle-class background would say", the suit states. But like any workplace, that doesn't mean anything goes. "All employees acknowledge our code of conduct and other workplace policies".
Scigliano said Google does not base its decisions on employees' political views.
Google, on its part, says that employees should be communicated in a manner that complies with the company's policies. But when an employee does not, it is something we must take seriously.