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-   -   Google engineer at center of tech industry firestorm says hes been fired (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=95917)

Psihala 08 August 2017 03:35 PM

Google engineer at center of tech industry firestorm says hes been fired
 
The Google engineer who wrote a highly controversial internal memo about gender differences that's sparked an uproar in the tech industry says he's been fired and that he's not going to take it lying down.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/google-e...es-been-fired/

crocoduck_hunter 08 August 2017 03:52 PM

Oh boo hoo.

Lainie 08 August 2017 04:01 PM

Dollars to donuts he used company resources to write that memo, and he obviously used company resources to distribute it.

ASL 08 August 2017 04:46 PM

Quote:

"As far as I know," Damlore said, "I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does. Before being fired, I submitted a charge to the National Labor Relations Board about how Google's upper management is misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints. It's illegal to retaliate against a NLRB charge.

"I think what they did was illegal and I'm currently exploring all possible legal remedies," Damore said.
Classic. Do something that's going to get you fired, then fling some mud in the water by filing a complaint or blowing the whistle on something (with or without merit, if with merit, generally something minor like "my employer made me provide my own stapler and then my manager lost it after he asked to borrow it!") and scream "retaliation" when you are fired for that thing you did that totally should have gotten you fired and was much worse than what you're accusing the company of doing to you.

Generally, that's not how it works: you can sill be fired for misconduct, although I'm not sure who has the burden of proof in a dispute like this (the employee to prove they were fired in retaliation or the employer to prove they were fired independent of their supposedly protected complaint). Either way, I'm sure Google will manage.

Crius of CoH 08 August 2017 04:51 PM

Actual whistleblowers hired by a company to monitor things and blow the whistle if necessary can not only be fired if they do their job, but be kept from further employment and involved in legal battles for years afterwards. And that's someone who was hired to do that job. Good luck if g-you decided to make it a sideline to your regular job.

jimmy101_again 08 August 2017 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1955993)
Dollars to donuts he used company resources to write that memo, and he obviously used company resources to distribute it.

Of course he did, it was an internal company memo. In other words, he considered it part of his job. Apparently Google disagrees,or at least, figures firing him makes Google look better.

Lainie 08 August 2017 05:10 PM

My point being that they can claim he used company resources inappropriately.

Counseling leadership on diversity management isn't part of a software engineer's job at my employer, but different companies have different rules. :)

mbravo 08 August 2017 06:44 PM

Wow, reading the blurb in the OP, I expected he was writing about the injustices caused by/related to gender-based stereotyping in the industry. That was disappointing.

erwins 08 August 2017 07:15 PM

I don't blame him for not knowing, but you do the file a discrimination claim with the NLRB. That agency deals with union organizing and collective bargaining type issues.

ASL 08 August 2017 08:57 PM

It's almost as if he had no intention of being a whistle-blower and quickly shat out some sort of complaint ASAP to the first alphabet soup organization that came to his mind (or that he found on a quick google search) without doing his research in a poor attempt to pre-empt Google's disciplinary action.

WildaBeast 08 August 2017 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erwins (Post 1956028)
I don't blame him for not knowing, but you do the file a discrimination claim with the NLRB. That agency deals with union organizing and collective bargaining type issues.

Well maybe the Justice Department can take it on as part of their new focus on "reverse discrimination".

erwins 09 August 2017 04:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erwins (Post 1956028)
I don't blame him for not knowing, but you do the file a discrimination claim with the NLRB. That agency deals with union organizing and collective bargaining type issues.

The story I heard on NPR this evening clarified things some. I assumed he had made a discrimination claim relating to him being a man. But he actually made a labor relations claim, based on the idea that he was trying organize fellow employees to complain about working conditions.

So, the NLRB is the right entity for that kind of claim.

I don't know very much about what was in the email, but it didn't initially sound to me like that kind of content.

Psihala 09 August 2017 02:02 PM

Does Google's fired "manifesto" writer have a legal case?
 
Former Google engineer James Damore is being held up as a free-speech hero by his supporters, but his dismissal by the tech giant might may be more of an ethical morass than a legal issue.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/does-goo...-a-legal-case/

Psihala 09 August 2017 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erwins (Post 1956080)
I don't know very much about what was in the email, but it didn't initially sound to me like that kind of content.

Here's ya' go: https://assets.documentcloud.org/doc...ho-Chamber.pdf

~Psihala

E. Q. Taft 11 August 2017 07:05 PM

As a Woman in Tech, I Realized: These Are Not My People
 
Have you heard about the Google memo? Have you heard nothing but "Google memo" all week? James Damore, an engineer at Google, wrote a memo suggesting that maybe there werent so many women at Google because women are less interested in sitting around and staring at code all day. The internet erupted. James Damore is no longer working at Google.

As a woman working in the brotastic atmosphere of IT, I ultimately came to a conclusion similar to his. So I sympathize with him. Let me explain.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...not-my-people\

(I don't put this out there as any attempt to defend Damore, but I thought the article provided an interesting perspective. I do kind of wish people could take a position to the effect of, "Well, yes, maybe men and women do have some differences in psychology or certain kinds of ability -- on the average -- but the evidence is not fully conclusive, and even if it's true, that doesn't mean we should deny opportunity, let alone be actively hostile, to those individuals who want to get into non-gender-traditional fields, or take it as a sign of innate superiority/inferiority, or that diversity doesn't have some virtue in and of itself.")

Errata 11 August 2017 07:20 PM

Quote:

I was in the throes of a brief, doomed romance. I had attended a concert that Saturday night. I answered the question with an account of both. The guys stared blankly. Then silence. Then one of them said: "I built a fiber-channel network in my basement," and our co-workers fell all over themselves asking him to describe every step in loving detail.
Working on a personal technical project is not that normal of a weekend for an engineer (or a technician, which it sounds like she was), and if that's how they spend all their weekends it would be viewed as a bit eccentric, and manic enthusiasm does not always correspond to actual talent. For a student maybe they do that more, but when you have a full time job you get most of it out of your system. Attending a concert or dating is a normal weekend activity that be a natural response to that kind of question and lead to a normal conversation, even among engineers. Her anecdote is not very relatables. I know plenty of Google people, and they get married and have kids, play sports, and do normal things to relax evenings and weekends, most of the time.

crocoduck_hunter 11 August 2017 07:21 PM

Bloomberg has apparently taken that article down.

But finding a woman who supports Damore's statements doesn't make them less sexist.

ASL 11 August 2017 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Errata (Post 1956246)
I know plenty of Google people, and they get married and have kids, play sports, and do normal things to relax evenings and weekends, most of the time.

I have a cousin who works for Google and is getting married next month!
Quote:

Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter (Post 1956247)
Bloomberg has apparently taken that article down.

But finding a woman who supports Damore's statements doesn't make them less sexist.

Try: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...-not-my-people

Anyways, I skimmed the article and will give it a closer look when I'm not on my iPad. I will also need to collect my thoughts a bit more as I will admit a lot of my perspective is from my time in the military, where you don't get to organize workers or negotiate working conditions, so my gut reactions may not be entirely appropriate to the private sector and I need some time to mull it over. I will say there is a strong under-current of people saying things similar to what this Google engineer has said (we also get a lot of diversity training and oddly enough, a common critique is "we shouldn't be waisting our time on diversity training. The Taliban aren't and for that matter, neither are major corporations!") and for my part I don't think it's all wrong, but I question the emphasis some might place on it*. I don't think this engineer or I sould concern ourselves with rolling back diversification efforts: we have jobs to do, the company can worry about the bottom line, and the military can worry about readiness while we go about doing those jobs.

Anyways, it's hard to get too far past that cursory kind of discussion because in the military, "shut up and color" is an acceptable response to criticism of policy, perhaps even overly kind. There's a lot of nuance that doesn't get to come out, I mean. And sending out a government e-mail about how we should all get together and protest or even petition against diversification efforts? That'd be right out. My gut feeling is using company time/e-mail to do likewise should also be a no-no.

*ETA: And by "it" I mean rolling back diversification efforts. I just get suspicious of people who choose that as their hill to die on and haven't had a lot of favorable interactions with the few people I've spoken with or read about who have gone on about it at length. There's usually a pretty good fig-leaf of pro-equality statements there, but then it gets uglier as you pull it away.

Sue 11 August 2017 08:27 PM

Maybe it's different in the US and maybe it's different now but I can certainly say that in a major Canadian university in the early 80s the engineering department was loudly and proudly and disgustingly sexist. The engineers had their own room to hang out in and the walls were plastered with centrefolds. That was probably the mildest thing they did. Anyway it doesn't surprise me one bit that an engineer would claim that women shouldn't be in engineering. But given how statistically few women actually are it seems odd that they'd lose any sleep over it, or go to the trouble of writing a paper "proving" they don't belong there. I wonder if his follow up paper is going to be "women only go into engineering to get their MRS".

crocoduck_hunter 11 August 2017 08:32 PM

Okay, read the article. I think it's still playing on the stereotype that engineers have to dream of spending all day building things and never talking about their feelings and that's a boy thing not a girl thing.


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