Chevalier v. Google Inc.

REZL's lawsuit claims that Google, Inc.'s internal social networking forums have become a tool for widespread bullying and harassment of women, people of color and other underrepresented groups at the tech giant. The lawsuit also accuses Google of firing an employee for pushing back on the pervasive harassment.

Tim Chevalier, the software developer and computer scientist who filed the case, claims that Google fired him when he responded forcefully to posts attacking women and people of color and expressing white supremacist views. Chevalier, who is disabled and transgender, responded directly to the workplace bullies by posting comments challenging the hostile work environment and refuting assertions that women and people of color are biologically unsuited for software engineering, and that Google should not actively recruit them.

According to the lawsuit, Chevalier's posts also championed transgender and disabled rights, and raised awareness about how Google's culture excludes and discriminates against minorities. The lawsuit alleges that Google chose to fire Chevalier for his comments instead of addressing the rampant harassment and discrimination he was protesting.

Chevalier stated, "It is a cruel irony that Google attempted to justify firing me by claiming that my social networking posts showed bias against my harassers. The anti-discrimination laws are meant to protect marginalized and underrepresented groups- not those who attack them."

Chevalier's attorneys regularly represent tech employees in high profile discrimination and retaliation cases. According to David Lowe, one of Chevalier's attorneys at Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP, "Company social networking forums can be incredibly useful, but employers have an obligation to prevent them from becoming a cesspool of bullying and harassment. Firing the employee who pushed back against the bullies was exactly the wrong step to take."

The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, seeks damages for lost wages, emotional distress, punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees and costs.

Read the complaint.

Press Coverage

Wired: Ex-Google Employee Claims Wrongful Firing For Criticizing James Damore's Memo

Business Insider: A Software Developer Says Google Fired Him Because He Spoke Out Against Harassment

Gizmodo: Google Fired and Disciplined Employees for Speaking Out About Diversity

SFGATE: Ex-Employee Sues Google Over Firing, Charging Discrimination

The Guardian: Ex-Engineer Sues Google, Saying He Was Fired For Condemning Diversity Memo

arstechnica: Ex-Google Engineer: I Was Fired For Being Too Liberal

The Verge: Former Google employee files lawsuit alleging the company fired him over pro-diversity posts