National Labor Relations Board rejected Damore's claim that Google fired him unjustly

Sunday, 18 Feb, 2018

Google did not break the law when it fired an engineer who wrote a memo critical of the company's diversity efforts, a lawyer for a US federal labour agency said.

Before he was sacked by Google, Damore filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board saying that the company had violated his right to engage in concerted activity to address a workplace problem. In spite of Damore withdrawing his NLRB filing in September, the board proceeded to examine and issue its own ruling: Google "discharged [Damore] only for [his] unprotected conduct while it explicitly affirmed [his] right to engage in protected conduct". While it's not legally binding (it would have only held weight if Damore kept his NLRB complaint), it shows a court might rule against him.

James Damore, right, a former Google engineer fired in 2017 after writing a memo about the biological differences between men and women, speaks at a news conference while his attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, listens, Monday, 8 January 2018, in San Francisco.

Damore dropped the NLBR complaint last month to instead focus on a class action lawsuit he and another former Google employee brought against the company accusing it of discriminating against white, male, and conservative employees.

Sophir found that Damore's memo contained a great deal of protected speech, as he clearly seems deeply concerned with company policies that he thinks discriminatory. Sophir cited Google's carefully crafted talking points, which were read over the phone to Damore upon his termination.

I want to make clear that our decision is based exclusively on the part of your post that generalizes and advances stereotypes about women versus men. Gould stated that, "What separates this is its derisiveness and stereotypical characterization of one gender". Specifically, he said women on average are more neurotic and less able to handle stress, and have IQ's that are more middling than those of men. The NLRB memo disagrees with Damore's complaint, and recommends dismissing it, were it not withdrawn.

She also said that Damore's statements about women in his memo "were discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment, notwithstanding effort to cloak comments with "scientific" references and analysis, and notwithstanding "not all women" disclaimers".