Google Fired Transgender Disabled Man After He Challenged Workplace White Supremacists, Lawsuit Claims

A picture taken on November 20, 2017 shows logos of US multinational technology company Google displayed on computers' screens. FP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE

A former Google engineer is suing the online and tech multinational claiming he was fired for challenging workplace bigotry that ranged from white supremacy to gender discrimination.

Tim Chevalier, who identifies as disabled, queer and transgender, has claimed the internet giant fired him to avoid dealing with workplace discrimination and harassment, USA Today reported.

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In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday, the former Google reliability engineer said his employment was terminated in November 2017 for defending women, people of color and other LGBT employees during discussions on company message boards.

The lawsuit highlights one particular instance in May 2016, when one employee asked if fewer Latino and Black workers were employed at Google, whether this mean they were "not as good." Other employees then suggested on the message board that Google would have to lower its hiring standards to increase its number of minority workers.

"In a culture where it's common to respond to diversity initiatives with 'we can't lower the bar,' implying a baseline assumption that women, non-binary people, and men of color are incompetent, it's equally important that we don't do the reverse: that we don't insist on white male competence even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary," Chevalier wrote.

The lawsuit alleges that Chevalier was explicitly told by Google he was being fired because of "political statements in opposition to the discrimination, harassment, and white supremacy he saw being expressed on Google's internal messaging systems."

The lawsuit opens another chapter on the debate surrounding diversity at Google. Last year, Wired reported, Google fired its engineer James Damore over comments he made about women. He said in memo leaked to the press Damore claimed that Google's hiring practices, especially those aimed at boosting diversity, were misguided because of the biological differences between men and women.

In January Damore filed a lawsuit claiming the company discriminates against white, conservative men.