James Damore, the software engineer whom Google fired last week over a controversial memo criticizing the company's diversity practices, isn't helping his potential case against the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant by actively seeking media attention, a number of legal experts believe. In a recent comment given to Forbes, Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP Chairman David Sanford said that Mr. Damore's newly adopted media persona is based on a fundamental misconception about the nature of free speech that he feels Google violated, adding that while people have the right to say anything they want in the privacy of their own home or on the street, they aren't guaranteed the right to discriminate against their co-workers or spread notions that reinforce stereotypes leading to discrimination. Mr. Sanford — whose experience spans a broad range of employment discrimination cases led in California — believes that Google was perfectly within its rights to fire the man who penned the controversial memo which sparked outrage both within and outside the company.
Brooke Schneider of Withers Bergman LLP expressed a similar sentiment last week by pointing out that Mr. Damore's desire to stay in the public spotlight has led him to align himself with a number of groups known for extreme stances on numerous issues, including diversity. Getting associated with alt-right and similar groups isn't anything that will likely win Mr. Damore any sympathy in a courtroom if he decides to go through with his idea of suing the Alphabet-owned company, which is something that he has been considering for over a week now, Ms. Schneider said. While speaking with Forbes last week, Neoma Ayala of Cole Schotz P.C. stated that Mr. Damore's comments implying women may be less biologically suitable for jobs in tech are based on similar arguments used for racial stereotyping and commended Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai for the manner in which he reacted to the situation.
Mr. Pichai previously stated that while the company is striving to nurture an inclusive work culture in which employees feel safe to express their ideas, such beliefs must be in line with Google's Code of Conduct, which was the basis for firing the author of the polarizing memo. Google's new Vice President of Diversity Danielle Brown previously made a similar comment, noting how she'll continue looking for ways to make Google even more diverse and inclusive in the future.