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Why was Google engineer James Damore, author of a memo to his co-workers about the company’s diversity practices, fired? As I wrote in two CNBC.com pieces published in recent days, Damore could not be fired for much of what he said in that memo, though he could be fired as an at-will employee for other parts of the memo.
Was Damore fired because, as Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Googlers, parts of the memo advanced “harmful gender stereotypes” about whether women “generally” were biologically, temperamentally, or motivationally less suited for positions as software engineers and tech leaders than men are?
Damore - Google - Parts - Memo - Complaints
Or was Damore really fired, as he maintains, because Google didn’t like those parts of his memo that were legally protected, such as his complaints about being isolated as a conservative in a predominantly liberal workplace, his efforts to join with co-workers to improve working conditions, or because he complained of Google diversity practices that Damore believed were unlawfully discriminatory?
If Damore challenges his termination, as he has said he will, he will have the ultimate burden of proving that Google’s motive for firing him was illegal. The reason Pichai gave, if believed, would leave Damore without legal recourse.
Employee - Company - Code - Conduct - Employees
It is not illegal to fire an at-will employee for violating a company code of conduct that prohibits employees...
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