March 25, 2019, 08:49:23 PM


Author Topic: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer  (Read 12596 times)

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #60 on: January 13, 2018, 09:18:38 PM »
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In the UK, I am sure he would have still been have fired for misuse of company e-mail, as well as tarnishing the company's name.

It was an eternal email wasn't it, so not tarnishing the Google brand. 

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"attempting to give constructive feedback for the good of the company.". No, that's a bit of a stretch for defending the reasons for firing him.

I guess the courts will decide that, though while it might not have been his place to comment, if you read the memo you can see he was trying to suggest good practice in his opinion.

All the news reports I've read, say it was an "internal memo". So, he used Google property to voice his angry rant. There is "voicing an opinion" and there's "10 pages of ranting about neurotic women." Pretty sure, it broke Google's Code of Conduct.

Why exaggerate? The section about neurotic women was one bullet point under the heading 'personality differences' in a 10 page memo

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Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

Offline Andyman

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2018, 02:28:54 PM »
I agree that there's no need to exaggerate or overblow the contents of Damore's memo. It's not nearly as vicious as a lot of people have assumed it to be. It's a bit naive in its reliance on biological determinism, and oversimplifies a complicated topic through fairly juvenile reductionism intended to look "sciencey". That being said, it's quite possible that his comments wouldn't have made much of a splash had it not been leaked to the media and branded the "anti-diversity memo", so in that respect I think he got a raw deal. This is exactly the kind of thing that should get resolved by talking through the arguments, rather than public shaming.

I'd have more sympathy for Damore, though, had he not started printing T-shirts, set up a martyrdom vanity site and started appearing on the podcasts of alt-right cranks as soon within 48 hours of his firing. Also, to reiterate my previous point just one more time, people who say things like "I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason" are the ones who've pushed hardest for at-will employment.* You know, people like James Damore.

Finally, am I the only to notice that this is basically the snowflakiest lawsuit ever? If they're successfu it will establish a legal precedent in which white, conservative males become a protected class. Every foamy-mouthed tirade against minorities claiming "unsafe environments", every defense of Ann Coulter's hate speech as political incorrectness, every giggle at Milo's harassment of Leslie Jones under the banner of free speech, every Social Darwinist justification of privilege, every lament about government social engineering... All that goes out the window. If you support this lawsuit, you should support the precedent for every demographic before and after. And if you don't, what does that make you? What is the special set of characteristics that makes you want these particular plaintiffs to succeed, and others to fail?






*Wikipedia definition: At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 02:30:45 PM by Andyman »

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2018, 04:25:09 PM »
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Finally, am I the only to notice that this is basically the snowflakiest lawsuit ever? If they're successfu it will establish a legal precedent in which white, conservative males become a protected class.

The guy was fired for having a different opinion to the company's ideology. What's that got to do with race or gender? he could have just as easily been a woman or a black guy. Though I guess he might not have lost his job if he was.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 04:27:10 PM by eggieguffer »

Offline Andyman

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #63 on: January 14, 2018, 06:48:02 PM »
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Finally, am I the only to notice that this is basically the snowflakiest lawsuit ever? If they're successfu it will establish a legal precedent in which white, conservative males become a protected class.

The guy was fired for having a different opinion to the company's ideology. What's that got to do with race or gender? he could have just as easily been a woman or a black guy. Though I guess he might not have lost his job if he was.

The lawsuit explicitly cites "male gender" and "Caucasian race" as apparent reasons for the plaintiffs' termination. That's what it has to do with race and gender.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 06:49:49 PM by Andyman »

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #64 on: January 14, 2018, 07:26:55 PM »
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Finally, am I the only to notice that this is basically the snowflakiest lawsuit ever? If they're successfu it will establish a legal precedent in which white, conservative males become a protected class.

The guy was fired for having a different opinion to the company's ideology. What's that got to do with race or gender? he could have just as easily been a woman or a black guy. Though I guess he might not have lost his job if he was.

The lawsuit explicitly cites "male gender" and "Caucasian race" as apparent reasons for the plaintiffs' termination. That's what it has to do with race and gender.

Oh does it? Anyway, how would that make white males a more protected class than any other class of person?

Offline CJ

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #65 on: January 15, 2018, 07:57:40 AM »
Didn't he use his work e-mail to launch his tirade?

In the UK, I am sure he would have still been have fired for misuse of company e-mail, as well as tarnishing the company's name.

"attempting to give constructive feedback for the good of the company.". No, that's a bit of a stretch for defending the reasons for firing him.

Tirade? Are you kidding me? Have you read it? I seriously doubt it. Ironically, it was about how to increase women in tech.

Offline CJ

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #66 on: January 15, 2018, 08:00:56 AM »
I agree that there's no need to exaggerate or overblow the contents of Damore's memo. It's not nearly as vicious as a lot of people have assumed it to be. It's a bit naive in its reliance on biological determinism, and oversimplifies a complicated topic through fairly juvenile reductionism intended to look "sciencey". That being said, it's quite possible that his comments wouldn't have made much of a splash had it not been leaked to the media and branded the "anti-diversity memo", so in that respect I think he got a raw deal. This is exactly the kind of thing that should get resolved by talking through the arguments, rather than public shaming.

I'd have more sympathy for Damore, though, had he not started printing T-shirts, set up a martyrdom vanity site and started appearing on the podcasts of alt-right cranks as soon within 48 hours of his firing. Also, to reiterate my previous point just one more time, people who say things like "I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason" are the ones who've pushed hardest for at-will employment.* You know, people like James Damore.

Finally, am I the only to notice that this is basically the snowflakiest lawsuit ever? If they're successfu it will establish a legal precedent in which white, conservative males become a protected class. Every foamy-mouthed tirade against minorities claiming "unsafe environments", every defense of Ann Coulter's hate speech as political incorrectness, every giggle at Milo's harassment of Leslie Jones under the banner of free speech, every Social Darwinist justification of privilege, every lament about government social engineering... All that goes out the window. LETS HOPE SO!!!!!!!!  If you support this lawsuit, you should support the precedent for every demographic before and after. And if you don't, what does that make you? What is the special set of characteristics that makes you want these particular plaintiffs to succeed, and others to fail?



*Wikipedia definition: At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning.

The memo's basic premise was: women and men are different, so let's think of ways of how to get more women in tech. Only a complete and utter snowflake would find offence in that. The funny thing was, several women had to take leave as they were so offended by the memo; kind of proves its point, huh?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 08:07:13 AM by CJ »

Offline Andyman

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2018, 08:48:26 AM »
I didn't say that I found the memo particularly offensive.

Also, the claim that "several women stayed home" is based on pretty scant evidence. It seems to have originated with one person, Kelly Ellis, who quit Google in 2014 and has a longstanding grievance with the company. The right wing media spun the claim into a big thing about how all these women were fulfilling a stereotype and proving Damore's point. But I seriously doubt that there was a significant contingent of women who stayed at home due to the distress the memo had caused. I could be wrong, but generally speaking, society doesn't operate like a Breitbart headline.

Offline CJ

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #68 on: January 15, 2018, 09:12:00 AM »
I didn't say that I found the memo particularly offensive.

Also, the claim that "several women stayed home" is based on pretty scant evidence. It seems to have originated with one person, Kelly Ellis, who quit Google in 2014 and has a longstanding grievance with the company. The right wing media spun the claim into a big thing about how all these women were fulfilling a stereotype and proving Damore's point. But I seriously doubt that there was a significant contingent of women who stayed at home due to the distress the memo had caused. I could be wrong, but generally speaking, society doesn't operate like a Breitbart headline.

You did indeed say you found it not particularily offensive, but I found  "It's a bit naive in its reliance on biological determinism, and oversimplifies a complicated topic through fairly juvenile reductionism intended to look "sciencey", to be a little on the wrong side of  " I'm going to write off the entire memo's content with two sentences."

This is not the place to have an in-depth discussion on if men and women are different, but what is your knowledge on this topic? James Damore has an MA in sytems biology, and was a research scientist at MIT which would suggest he's more than capable of researching scientific literature and presenting it in a logical way. I'm not a massive fan of the "higher authority" argument, but I think it's reasonable in this case.

I found your comments on setting a precedent for white males to become a protected class to be very offensive. What if James Damore was black and he did exactly the same thing? What would you say then?

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2018, 09:34:51 AM »
Insert “The Incredibles” meme here.

When everybody is a protected class, nobody is.

Offline Andyman

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2018, 10:17:29 AM »
I'm happy to talk about the specifics of Damore's memo later, when I've got more time.

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What if James Damore was black and he did exactly the same thing? What would you say then?

I would say that according to California labor law, a private company like Google has every right to fire someone perceived to be undermining its HR policies and damaging its public image, regardless of that person's ethnicity. I wouldn't think it was a good case for a discrimination lawsuit.

Let's forget about Damore for a second, though, and consider the second plaintiff. And let's imagine that he were a black woman who got fired for being horrible to her work colleague - an Israeli, let's say. The black woman makes some fairly ugly insinuations on an employee forum related to her co-worker's recent trip to Israel. Maybe some comments about banking and control of the media. The black woman gets fired, then mounts a discrimination lawsuit saying that she'd still have a job if she were a white, conservative male. Would you be cheering her on?


Offline CDW

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2018, 10:28:49 AM »
Insert “The Incredibles” meme here.

When everybody is a protected class, nobody is.
What are you on about? White males are part of at least three protected classes (race, color, gender). Additionally, California state law makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of political affiliations. So Damore seems to have a pretty strong case. None of the liberals he worked with got fired for voicing their opinions.

Offline CJ

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #72 on: January 15, 2018, 10:38:10 AM »
I'm happy to talk about the specifics of Damore's memo later, when I've got more time.

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What if James Damore was black and he did exactly the same thing? What would you say then?

I would say that according to California labor law, a private company like Google has every right to fire someone perceived to be undermining its HR policies and damaging its public image, regardless of that person's ethnicity. I wouldn't think it was a good case for a discrimination lawsuit.

Let's forget about Damore for a second, though, and consider the second plaintiff. And let's imagine that he were a black woman who got fired for being horrible to her work colleague - an Israeli, let's say. The black woman makes some fairly ugly insinuations on an employee forum related to her co-worker's recent trip to Israel. Maybe some comments about banking and control of the media. The black woman gets fired, then mounts a discrimination lawsuit saying that she'd still have a job if she were a white, conservative male. Would you be cheering her on?

A bit convoluted for me that scenario. You say "let's imagine he......" but then you say black woman, so you're including gender identity, anti-semitism and racism in your example. Pass.

BTW, I was asking basically why bring race into this? To me at least this is all about bringing more women into Google as that would mean more "diversity". Having any dissent in the ranks which goes against Google's groupthink sets one up for being terminated from employment even if you're a model worker like Damore was.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 10:44:54 AM by CJ »

Offline CDW

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #73 on: January 15, 2018, 10:41:59 AM »
"Damore has now answered Google with a legal broadside, and it’s extraordinary. Most people don’t have time to read his entire 181-page complaint, but those who do will find a comprehensive argument that Google’s corporate culture encourages, sanctions, and facilitates an extraordinary amount of abuse against conservative white males.....

"For example, 'Googlers' (that’s what employees call themselves, using Google’s silly corporate language) relentlessly enforce a so-called 'Googley' culture where employees blacklist conservatives (blocking them from in-house communications), actually boo white-male hires, and openly discuss committing acts of violence against political opponents. The 'punch a Nazi' debate is alive and well at Google, and the definition of 'Nazi' is extraordinarily broad. In one posting, an employee proposes a 'moratorium on hiring white cis heterosexual abled men who aren’t abuse survivors.' In another, an employee advertises a workshop on 'healing from toxic whiteness.' Another post mocks 'white fragility.' The examples go on and on, for page after page."
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455288/james-damores-google-lawsuit-exposes-companys-intolerance

Does that sound worse than Damore's memo?


Online JNM

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #74 on: January 15, 2018, 10:43:08 AM »
Insert “The Incredibles” meme here.

When everybody is a protected class, nobody is.
What are you on about? White males are part of at least three protected classes (race, color, gender). Additionally, California state law makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of political affiliations. So Damore seems to have a pretty strong case. None of the liberals he worked with got fired for voicing their opinions.

He certainly does have a case worth hearing.

I would, not being a California Lawyer, call those “prohibited grounds”; “Protected class” would be people in identifiable groups who are subject to unfair treatment on those grounds.

Firing a pregnant woman (member of a protected class) because she leaked confidential information (not prohibited grounds) is different than because she took too many medical days.


Offline Andyman

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #75 on: January 15, 2018, 11:00:10 AM »
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What are you on about? White males are part of at least three protected classes (race, color, gender). Additionally, California state law makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of political affiliations. So Damore seems to have a pretty strong case. None of the liberals he worked with got fired for voicing their opinions.
Yes, but there's no solid legal precedent for claiming discrimination against that demographic category, and it will be very, very surprising if they succeed when the company in question is 60% white and 70% male, with about 3/4 of leadership positions held by white males, not to mention ongoing pay discrimination suits brought by female employees.

Again, just replace "white" with "black" and "male" with "female", plug those words into the stats above, and now imagine a black woman suing for discrimination, citing race and gender as factors. Would it become a celebrated cause for conservatives?

All that being said, I agree that they might stand a chance on the political discrimination front, as there's at least a stronger precedent for it. However, I'lll bet that Google can probably find many examples of people expressing opinions on employee forums that fall within a spectrum of conservatism, and not losing their jobs over it.

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You say "let's imagine he......" but then you say black woman, so you're including gender identity, anti-semitism and racism in your example. Pass.

I'm referring to why the second plaintiff in the case was fired. Read the background - that's the context for my scenario. He, too, is claiming that he was subject to unfair treatment as a white male (hence the race and gender).

Offline Andyman

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2018, 11:32:15 AM »
TL;DR version: The guy got fired for being a dick and making some ethnically charged innuendos to one of his co-workers on what I assume was an open employees' forum or e-mail chain. He got the sack. Now he's suing because apparently this wouldn't have happened had he not been a white male conservative.

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #77 on: January 15, 2018, 12:00:08 PM »
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Again, just replace "white" with "black" and "male" with "female", plug those words into the stats above, and now imagine a black woman suing for discrimination, citing race and gender as factors. Would it become a celebrated cause for conservatives? He got the sack. Now he's suing because apparently this wouldn't have happened had he not been a white male conservative.

I think this, from the article CDW posted, answers some of your questions.

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It’s important to remember that American civil-rights law is generally color-blind. In other words, it protects white employees every bit as much as it protects black employees, and conduct that would be unlawful if applied to African Americans or women is also unlawful if applied to whites or males.


Though maybe not about whether it'd be such a 'celebrated' cause for conservatives. When an unarmed white man is shot by the police in the US, is it normally a 'celebrated' cause for BLM? I guess not.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 01:00:58 PM by eggieguffer »

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #78 on: January 15, 2018, 01:02:39 PM »
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Again, just replace "white" with "black" and "male" with "female", plug those words into the stats above, and now imagine a black woman suing for discrimination, citing race and gender as factors. Would it become a celebrated cause for conservatives? He got the sack. Now he's suing because apparently this wouldn't have happened had he not been a white male conservative.

I think this, from the article CDW posted, answers your question.

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It’s important to remember that American civil-rights law is generally color-blind. In other words, it protects white employees every bit as much as it protects black employees, and conduct that would be unlawful if applied to African Americans or women is also unlawful if applied to whites or males.


Though maybe not about whether it'd be such a 'celebrated' cause for conservatives. When an unarmed white man is shot by the police in the US, is it normally a 'celebrated' cause for BLM? I guess not.

In the US an employer can fire an employee for any reason. But you can't say "I'm firing you because you're old/gay/white/black." Unless there is proof that Google gave "we're firing you because you're a white male" as the reason for firing him, he doesn't have a case. They don't even have to give a reason, because conservatives have fought so hard for so long to give employers 100% control over firings. Usually the issue of "reason for firing" is only an issue in terms of applying for unemployment benefits. If you've been fired for being incompetent or insubordinate, you can't get unemployment. If you're fired because "my boss didn't like my pink shirt," or because of cost-cutting (i.e. laid off), you can get unemployment. But unemployment benefit considerations are completely irrelevant to the issue of whether he was fired against the law.

I'm pretty sure Google can win this case by simply saying "Google did not want to be associated with James Damore's sexist views." "Being sexist" is not a protected class.

Keep in mind all the times you've seen conservatives applauding someone being fired for saying something anti-conservative on Facebook. It's literally the same thing. Damore probably could've gotten away with it if he had done everything on his own time instead of using company resources and time to post his manifesto. And what was he hoping to change anyway? If he doesn't like the way Google does things, why didn't he leave and start his own company to show that sexist men make better techies? Google doesn't owe him anything but a paycheck.
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Online eggieguffer

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Re: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer
« Reply #79 on: January 15, 2018, 01:08:20 PM »
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Again, just replace "white" with "black" and "male" with "female", plug those words into the stats above, and now imagine a black woman suing for discrimination, citing race and gender as factors. Would it become a celebrated cause for conservatives? He got the sack. Now he's suing because apparently this wouldn't have happened had he not been a white male conservative.

I think this, from the article CDW posted, answers your question.

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It’s important to remember that American civil-rights law is generally color-blind. In other words, it protects white employees every bit as much as it protects black employees, and conduct that would be unlawful if applied to African Americans or women is also unlawful if applied to whites or males.


Though maybe not about whether it'd be such a 'celebrated' cause for conservatives. When an unarmed white man is shot by the police in the US, is it normally a 'celebrated' cause for BLM? I guess not.

In the US an employer can fire an employee for any reason. But you can't say "I'm firing you because you're old/gay/white/black." Unless there is proof that Google gave "we're firing you because you're a white male" as the reason for firing him, he doesn't have a case. They don't even have to give a reason, because conservatives have fought so hard for so long to give employers 100% control over firings. Usually the issue of "reason for firing" is only an issue in terms of applying for unemployment benefits. If you've been fired for being incompetent or insubordinate, you can't get unemployment. If you're fired because "my boss didn't like my pink shirt," or because of cost-cutting (i.e. laid off), you can get unemployment. But unemployment benefit considerations are completely irrelevant to the issue of whether he was fired against the law.

I'm pretty sure Google can win this case by simply saying "Google did not want to be associated with James Damore's sexist views." "Being sexist" is not a protected class.

Keep in mind all the times you've seen conservatives applauding someone being fired for saying something anti-conservative on Facebook. It's literally the same thing. Damore probably could've gotten away with it if he had done everything on his own time instead of using company resources and time to post his manifesto. And what was he hoping to change anyway? If he doesn't like the way Google does things, why didn't he leave and start his own company to show that sexist men make better techies? Google doesn't owe him anything but a paycheck.

Was his memo sexist? Did he say that men were better than women at any point. Or just different?