Posted on January 17, 2019

Google Managers Kept Blacklists of Conservative Employees

Julie Bort, Business Insider, January 8, 2019

A well-known Republican San Francisco lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Google seeking to represent white, male, or conservative employees who believe the company has discriminated against them.

The lawyer is Harmeet Dhillon, a partner with the Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco and the former chairwoman of the Republican Party in San Francisco.

{snip} And on Monday she presented the first fruits of her research in a 161-page complaint that’s chock full of allegations and screenshots.

The most jaw-dropping allegation is that “Google publicly endorsed blacklists” of conservatives. The suit claims that several hiring managers publicly vowed not to hire people categorized as “hostile voices” — aka conservatives.


Another manager wrote in another, “I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today.”

The suit cites another post from another hiring manager that read: “If you express a dunderheaded opinion about religion, about politics, or about ‘social justice’, it turns out I am allowed to think you’re a halfwit … I’m perfectly within my rights to mentally categorize you in my [d—head] box … Yes, I maintain (mentally, and not (yet) publicly).”

Interestingly, the suit doesn’t show the statements that provoked such strong reactions from these managers. It characterizes them only as “tactfully expressed conservative viewpoints in politically-charged debates.”

Whether expressing antidiversity sentiments at a workplace is a protected “conservative viewpoint” or, rather, a form of bigotry that actually creates a hostile environment, is at the heart of the case — and it reflects a broader debate gripping the country under the divisive presidency of Donald Trump.

‘Something resembling a trial’

The lawsuit shows that in at least one case, a manager, a white woman, {snip} wrote on an internal post, “I am thinking of something like a google doc that accepts comments, and which calls out those googlers that are unsupportive of diversity,” she wrote.

She wondered, in the post, whether special “trials” should be held for employees nominated for the list, to determine whether they belonged on it.

The suit {snip} says that conservative employees reported such lists or other attempts to block them and their comments on Google’s internal social-media sites to HR who told them that employees have the right to block others or make statements about the type of employees they liked to work with.

The lawsuit says that conservative employees on two occassions, in the fall of 2017, also brought the matter of such lists up with Paul Manwell, Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s chief of staff, and to senior lawyer Kent Walker.

This suit {snip} seeks class-action status to represent other white or male or conservative employees who believe they faced discrimination at Google.