THE GOOGLE DISCRIMINATION CASE

Nardone HR & Management Consulting (“Nardone Consultants”) regularly assists its clients with labor, employment, and human resource (“HR”) issues, including: (i) conducting investigations and providing guidance on preventing discrimination and harassment, and (ii) responding to discrimination and harassment allegations and charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (“OCRC”). Please view our previous articles on: (i) Preventing Harassment in the Workplace Today and (ii) EEOC’s Discussion on Preventing Harassment in the Workplace Today. Another important prevention measure for companies is to keep up on current court decisions, like the Google discrimination case. Company's should consider such decisions in making related workplace decisions. This article reviews the Google discrimination case (the “Case”) background and discusses its most recent noteworthy developments.

Background

James Damore (“Damore”) worked as an engineer for Google. In a memorandum to his superiors (the “Memo”), Damore criticized Google’s push for racial and gender diversity. When the Memo became the center of national attention, Google eventually fired Damore. Afterwards, Damore filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”), as a means to seek reinstatement to his position at Google. But, the Board decided that, under the National Labor Relations Act, Damore was not eligible for reinstatement.

Class Action Lawsuit

According to Damore’s attorney, "Others at the company have also claimed they were fired because of their gender, their male gender, and their race..." After Damore’s attempt for reinstatement was unsuccessful before the Board, he and his lawyers sought to expand the case by pursuing a class action lawsuit against Google on the basis of race, gender, and political bias.

Motion to Dismiss

Google filed a dismissal motion against the class action lawsuit. Earlier in the summer of this year, the judge denied Google’s motion to dismiss, allowing the lawsuit to move forward. With the lawsuit moving forward, Google is required to submit data to the court on its hiring and employment practices. 

Fighting Discrimination in the Workplace

It is critical for employers to continue to keep up with and implement the newly, recommended strategies to prevent discrimination or harassment. Additionally, employers must continue to ensure that they are taking those proven steps and other measures, which the courts require to defend against discrimination or harassment. These steps and measures include: (i) establishing and enforcing anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures; (ii) providing the necessary training on such policies and procedures; and (iii) addressing related complaints promptly, thoroughly, and sufficiently to defend against potential discrimination charges or litigation and related liability. Stay tuned…Nardone Consultants will continue to provide updates and other new information on preventing harassment in the workplace today.

Contact Nardone Consultants

Tanya Nardone has conducted many harassment investigations and anti-harassment trainings for clients. She has also defended clients against discrimination or harassment charges filed by employees or former employees. Tanya knows it is critical to minimize disruptions in the workplace. If your company wants to ensure it minimizes its disruptions related to discrimination, harassment, or other workplace issues, contact Nardone Consultants.

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