snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Non-UL Chat > Business Bytes

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08 August 2017, 03:35 PM
Psihala's Avatar
Psihala Psihala is offline
 
Join Date: 28 February 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 7,452
Tantrum 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/
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08 August 2017, 03:52 PM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 11,333
Default

Oh boo hoo.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08 August 2017, 04:01 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 73,380
Default

Dollars to donuts he used company resources to write that memo, and he obviously used company resources to distribute it.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08 August 2017, 04:46 PM
ASL's Avatar
ASL ASL is offline
 
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,214
Read This!

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.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08 August 2017, 04:51 PM
Crius of CoH's Avatar
Crius of CoH Crius of CoH is offline
 
Join Date: 13 February 2006
Location: Paragon City (Cranston), RI
Posts: 1,596
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08 August 2017, 04:56 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,583
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08 August 2017, 05:10 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 73,380
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08 August 2017, 06:44 PM
mbravo's Avatar
mbravo mbravo is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2015
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 897
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08 August 2017, 07:15 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,402
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08 August 2017, 08:57 PM
ASL's Avatar
ASL ASL is offline
 
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,214
Cell Phone

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.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08 August 2017, 09:18 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast WildaBeast is online now
 
Join Date: 18 July 2002
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 14,652
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
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".
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09 August 2017, 04:28 AM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,402
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09 August 2017, 02:02 PM
Psihala's Avatar
Psihala Psihala is offline
 
Join Date: 28 February 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 7,452
Ponder 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/
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09 August 2017, 02:05 PM
Psihala's Avatar
Psihala Psihala is offline
 
Join Date: 28 February 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 7,452
Read This!

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
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
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11 August 2017, 07:05 PM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
Join Date: 30 July 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 13,446
Default 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.")
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11 August 2017, 07:20 PM
Errata's Avatar
Errata Errata is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 12,957
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11 August 2017, 07:21 PM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 11,333
Default

Bloomberg has apparently taken that article down.

But finding a woman who supports Damore's statements doesn't make them less sexist.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11 August 2017, 07:40 PM
ASL's Avatar
ASL ASL is offline
 
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,214
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
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 View Post
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.

Last edited by ASL; 11 August 2017 at 07:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11 August 2017, 08:27 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,315
Default

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".
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11 August 2017, 08:32 PM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 11,333
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Georgia mayor creates firestorm with Election Day post Psihala Soapbox Derby 1 09 November 2016 12:51 AM
Google+ to Be Unlinked from YouTube and Other Google Products BrianB Business Bytes 4 03 August 2015 09:18 AM
Engineer Barbie has computer problems. Call the boys? Psihala Social Studies 14 22 November 2014 05:44 PM
An Engineer's Guide to Cats 2.0 - The Sequel TallGeekyGirl Fun House 2 23 January 2014 05:46 PM
'Entitled' high school senior sparks a firestorm of anger snopes Social Studies 49 09 April 2013 04:38 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.