James Damore, the Google engineer who was sacked this week after a 10-page anti-diversity memo he wrote went viral, says he feels "betrayed" by his former employer and that upper management used him to "have a very clear signal that what I did was harmful and wrong and didn't stand for Google".
"I'm sure a lawsuit will be forthcoming", predicted Inc writer Suzanne Lucas following Damore's firing, adding that it was in her opinion illegal in numerous ways for Google to fire the employee.
"A month and a half ago I went to one of our diversity summits, all of it unrecorded and super secret, and they told me a lot of things that I thought were just not right", Damore revealed.
Leading tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Uber, have said they are trying to improve hiring and working conditions for women. New head of diversity Danielle Brownexplained over the weekend that while open dialogue is important to Google, it can only exist within the principles of equal employment.
The Bloomberg TV interview was Damore's first appearance on a mainstream media outlet. Broadly speaking, Damore's thesis claimed that gender disparities in tech stemmed less from societal discouragement and were instead related to biological differences between men and women. But Google's response to people who questioned programs that provide additional support to women and minorities, he said, was repressive. "They just punished me and shamed me for doing it".
Damore's filing with the NLRB cites a part of the labor relations act that gives employees the right to engage in "protected concerted" activities.
The episode has become a flashpoint for wider debates over sexism and political correctness, which conservatives say suppresses dissenting voices in liberal bastions like Silicon Valley. "I'm more of a centrist. So it really feels like they betrayed me in some way". "I think that there's a lot more that we can do to bring people together".
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