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Fired Google employee criticizes company's intolerance, alleges potentially illegal practices

Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson recently interviewed fired Google employee James Damore to discuss his firing, and Google's intolerance of differing viewpoints. (Image source: Jordan Peterson interview, YouTube screenshot)

Recently fired Google employee James Damore said during an interview with University of Toronto Professor of Psychology Jordan Peterson that Google's culture weeds out differing opinions, and asks employees to do potentially illegal things in the name of diversity.

Last weekend, Damore sent out a memo that called out the tech company for its left-wing bias, and intolerance of differing viewpoints, especially about the differences between men and women.

Damore was fired this week for the views he expressed in his memo. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the memo violated the company Code of Conduct, and promoted "harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

On Wednesday, Peterson published a nearly hourlong interview with Damore on YouTube, in which he and Damore discussed Damore's history with the tech company, his firing from Google, and his viewpoints about the company's values.

During the interview, Damore described himself as the "biggest Google fanboy," who worked at the company for four years before his termination. Damore said he always owned an Android phone, and pushed his friends to use Androids over iPhones.

Damore said his firing did not come as a result of a poor performance at work as he had been promoted twice, and had excellent performance reviews.

Damore told Peterson that he wrote the memo after he attended an unrecorded "diversity summit," where Damore said he was told "a lot of things that I thought were not right." Damore said that most Google meetings and summits are recorded, but the diversity summit was not recorded.

Damore said he believed the failure to record the summit stemmed from Google's knowledge that they were asking employees to take potentially illegal actions.

Damore said that at the summit, he was urged to treat people differently based on race and sex. Additionally, Damore said he was pressured to "increase the diversity" of his team, and noted that there was no way to do that without choosing who to hire based on race or sex.

After writing the memo, Damore said he was informed of his termination by a human resources representative, and director.

However, Damore said he believed the decision came from "higher-ups" in the company:

I’m sure [the decision to terminate me] was from higher up than that, because this is a huge PR move, so they would need approval from higher-ups. ... I actually published this about a month ago, and it was only after it got viral and then leaked to the news that Google started caring. ... There were a lot of upper management that specifically called it out and started saying how harmful it is, and how it’s unacceptable; this sort of viewpoint is not allowed at Google.

Damore told Peterson that he still loves Google, but said the current culture within the company is one of intolerance to differing views. Damore said he hoped that the company will find a different way of looking at things.

"The whole culture just tries to silence any dissenting view," Damore told Peterson. "We really need some more objective ways of looking at these things."

As the controversy surrounding Damore unfolds, over 60 women are considering suing Google over claims of sexism and being paid less than men. According to the women's lawyer, James Finberg, some women reported being paid up to $40,000 less than men who do the same work.

(h/t: Daily Caller)

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