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Google Sued Over Firing Software Developer For Speaking About Diversity And Harassment

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An ex-employee of Google is suing the company for wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, and harassment, claiming that Google fired him over his liberal views.

Tim Chevalier is a software developer who worked for nearly two years at Google as a site-reliability engineer. When the whole James Damore manifesto scandal broke loose, Chevalier responded with various memes and internal posts to counter sexist, racist, and discriminatory views.

Google Diversity And The James Damore Manifesto

For those unfamiliar with the matter, James Damore wrote an infamous internal memo last year condemning diversity and arguing that men are biologically more suitable to work in the tech industry. The 10-page manifesto stirred a great deal of controversy and Google fired Damore who sued the company last month for discriminating against conservative white men.

Damore also mentioned Chevalier in his lawsuit, referring to his posts and memes as an example of how Google allowed liberals to speak out without facing any consequences.

Damore's case reportedly prompted Google to more closely moderate internal conversations and crack down on workers who voice their opinions about diversity. Google reportedly moved to a moderate speech by both conservative and liberal employees.

Google Sued For Firing Employee Over Liberal Views

Chevalier, who is also transgender and disabled, made pro-diversity posts defending marginalized people and women of color. In his lawsuit, Chevalier now argues that his pro-diversity posts prompted Google to fire him back in November 2017.

"It is a cruel irony that Google attempted to justify firing me by claiming that my social networking posts showed bias against my harassers," says Chevalier.

According to the lawsuit, Chevalier has made forum posts to counter online bullying that targeted the LGBT community or people of color. One post also called Damore's memo "misogynistic." The lawsuit argues that Chevalier's termination served as punishment for speaking out.

"The anti-discrimination laws are meant to protect marginalized and underrepresented groups -- not those who attack them," adds Chevalier.

Eliminating Harmful Stereotypes

Google, on its part, says that employees should be communicated in a manner that complies with the company's policies. Otherwise, it will take action regardless of the employee's political views. Simply put, Google says that it's just aiming to eliminate harmful stereotypes.

"An important part of our culture is lively debate," says a Google spokesperson. "But like any workplace, that doesn't mean anything goes. All employees acknowledge our code of conduct and other workplace policies, under which promoting harmful stereotypes based on race or gender is prohibited."

Chevalier, who was a Google employee from December 2015 up until his termination in November 2017, is now seeking damages for emotional distress and lost wages, as well as punitive damages.

At the same time, Chevalier's lawsuit contradicts the claims that Damore previously made in his lawsuit, that Google does not reprimand liberals.

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