August 10, 2017
Partner Barbara Hoey
was quoted in the Law360
article “Google Memo Author’s NLRB Charge Tees Up for Tough Fight,” discussing Google’s recent firing of James Damore, a software engineer, after he distributed a controversial memo on gender diversity within the organization. The exact timing of his firing is unclear; however, Damore filed a charge with the NLRB alleging Google interfered with and restrained his right to engage in protected activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.
Barbara explains that Damore’s choice of venue was clever given that the NLRB has taken an expansive view of actions that constitute protective, concerted activity. “I believe Google made the right move in firing him and that his comments don't actually fall under Section 7's umbrella.”
"My overall view is that the company was both right — which is always a nice thing to be — and legal," Hoey said. "The gentleman's comments were openly — and not even veiled — sexist, and advanced stereotypical views of women. He's really taken things back with his comments to a period where women were held back. I don't blame the women [at Google] for being offended."
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