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Google just got hit with another gender discrimination suit

A transgender engineer filed a lawsuit alleging gender-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination,

by Noah Kulwin
Feb 22 2018, 6:27pm

Google is facing yet another discrimination suit, the latest in a long series that’s been keeping its legal team busy.

A transgender former Google engineer filed a lawsuit alleging gender-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination, the same week the National Labor Relations Board dismissed James Damore’s complaint of being illegally fired over his much-publicized “diversity memo” last August.

And these two cases are only the latest legal twists in a long series at Google over sexual harassment, diversity, and alleged systematic discrimination against women and LGBT minorities. Other recent developments include a class-action filed by women formerly at Google who claim the company paid them less than male colleagues for the same work, and an ongoing Labor Department suit against the company based on preliminary evidence showing systemic pay inequality between men and women.

Incidents like these are not uncommon at large companies, particularly in Silicon Valley. Three women filed a lawsuit in October against Uber alleging pay disparities between genders, and a former Tesla engineer said last July that she was fired in retaliation for her lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination at the electric carmaker.

The Silicon Valley giant has denied wrongdoing in its ongoing cases and, in an emailed statement regarding the most recent lawsuit filed, says that “promoting harmful stereotypes based on race or gender is prohibited” for Google employees.

“This is a very standard expectation that most employers have of their employees. The overwhelming majority of our employees communicate in a way that is consistent with our policies,” said Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano. “But when an employee does not, it is something we must take seriously. We always make our decision without any regard to the employee’s political views.”

Here’s more on what’s happening in some of the above cases:

  • After publishing his “diversity manifesto” last summer, engineer James Damore was fired from the company as CEO Sundar Pichai said the document was “offensive and not OK.” Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board dismissed Damore’s unfair labor practice complaint, which Damore said he had withdrawn in January to focus efforts on his civil suit against the company.

  • On Wednesday, former Google engineer Tim Chevalier, who is transgender, said in a suit filed in San Francisco Superior Court that he was admonished by a supervisor for his political activism, and that after responding to comments on an internal chat board about the Damore memo, an HR representative told him using the phrase “white guys” could reflect stereotypes about race and gender. Chevalier says his request to switch to a different team was denied, and that he was ultimately fired in November for his political posts.

  • When Google provided the Labor Department with a selection of its employment data in 2015 for an audit, the government agency “found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce,” according to a department official’s court testimony last April. In July, a judge denied the government’s request for more comprehensive salary histories at the company, but ordered Google to turn over a comparative selection of employment data from 2014.

  • In September, three former Google employees sued the company, citing evidence from the Labor Department case, alleged “systemic” gender discrimination in compensation at the company. After a judge dismissed the lawsuit for being too vague, it was re-filed in early January with more detail, and an added, fourth complainant.

This article originally appeared on VICE News US.