The NLRB Says Google Did Not Violate Discrimination Laws in Firing James Damore

by Evil HR Lady on February 20, 2018

In August, Google fired engineer James Damore for an internal memo he wrote which questioned the role of biology in career choice. He wondered if the reason there were fewer women in tech than one might expect had more to do with innate differences between men and women than with discrimination, and, in fact, Google’s drive to increase the number of women in the company led to discrimination against men.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rejected Damore’s claim that he was fired for engaging in a protected “concerted activity.” This is a specific term that refers to protections employees have to discuss their working conditions. It’s what protects you from being fired for discussing your salary or complaining about your boss.  Damore argued that he was discussing working conditions and therefore, his termination was illegal.

The NLRB did find that parts of Damore’s memo were protected, but that Google didn’t fire him for the protected parts. The NLRB concluded that:

To keep reading, click here: The NLRB Says Google Did Not Violate Discrimination Laws in Firing James Damore

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny February 20, 2018 at 4:14 pm

The bottom line was that Damore was asserting that his female co-workers may have been biologically unsuited for their jobs. It’s highly ironic that the term “concerted activity” — which normally applies to employees joining together in efforts to improve their workplaces — would be applied to his harmful efforts to sow gender-based divisiveness.

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jdgalt February 20, 2018 at 5:45 pm

No, the bottom line is that Damore was correctly asserting that fewer women than men actually want tech jobs, and any company that large which nevertheless hires equal numbers must be discriminating strongly (and wrongly) in favor of women to make that happen.

And President Trump needs to purge the NLRB for bias.

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Mr Mister E Ohhhhs February 21, 2018 at 3:52 am

Men are most of the incarcerated, most of Downs Syndrome, die younger, and so on. There’s downside as well as upside to variability. Not many complaints about those downsides for some reason.

So I just maintain a poker face during workplace indoctrination sessions. There are women smarter than me (I dated a few!), but my profession is largely male dominated. I can’t explain it.

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grannybunny February 21, 2018 at 5:16 pm

Neither Google nor any other of the tech giants “nevertheless hires equal numbers” of women. You are setting up a false “straw man” proposition.

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Observer February 22, 2018 at 3:48 am

That’s not actually what he said. He said, and continues to claim, that women are biologically unsuited to the job of software engineer.

That claim is hugely disruptive and derogatory.

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Elizabeth West February 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Women who go into fields that were formerly male-dominated have to face this kind of sexist, meninist, 4chan garbage all the time. Google did the right thing in getting rid of Damore. Anyone who thinks his diatribe is legitimate suffers from a bad case of cranio-rectal inversion.

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Andrew Garland February 21, 2018 at 3:40 am

1) It should be legal for anyone (incl Google) to fire anyone without government review, other than implicit/explicit contract.
2) A govt labor board should get its facts straight.
3) Govt doesn’t abide the facts, which is why 1) should apply.

I await an NLRB ruling like this:

Employee “Helen” was 60 years old and disabled at the time that AAA Corp fired her. The board rules that AAA fired Helen only on the basis of unprotected criteria such as efficiency and disruptive behavior, and not on the basis of tihe protected criteria of age, sex, and disability discrimination.

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Milennial_perspective February 21, 2018 at 7:22 am

I am not seeing an issue with your example. It’s not illegal to fire 41+ disabled people for reasons unrelated to protected classes.

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grannybunny February 21, 2018 at 5:20 pm

NLRB would not be the likely forum for a ruling on impermissible discrimination, unless it were discrimination based on protected concerted labor activity.

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Steve February 21, 2018 at 11:55 am

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

William F. Buckley, Jr.

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grannybunny February 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm

This is not a partisan issue.

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