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Fired Google engineer believes retaliation behind his termination

One of the ongoing discussions in the technology sector, one which the industry is trying to come to grips with, is gender inequality. The fact of the matter is that men play a larger role than women in the technology industry, and the problem doesn’t appear to be getting better.

For many people, the diminished role of women in technology is really about sexism and discrimination. A Google engineer fired for penning a memo criticizing this assumption is apparently exploring the legal remedies available to him. The engineer believes that he was subjected to wrongful termination for his views and for seeking to exercise his rights as an employee. 

Prior to his termination, the engineer filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board accusing Google leadership of misrepresenting his statements and publicly shaming him in order to squelch his complaints about the terms and conditions of his work. In his memo, he criticized the company for its mentoring and diversity programs and for sidelining those who didn’t subscribe to its institutional belief about gender.

The engineer claims that Google fired him for upholding gender stereotypes and in retaliation for filing a charge with the National Labor Relations Board. The agency is responsible for investigating and resolving charges and complaints of unfair labor practices.

Retaliation is not necessarily an easy charge to prove, since employers will almost always deny the allegation and offer an alternative explanation for termination or other adverse treatment of an employee. Those who believe they may have been subjected to retaliation on the job should always work with an experienced attorney to ensure their rights are protected. We’ll say more about retaliation charges in our next post. 

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