Corporate Counsel Turns to Partner Barbara Hoey to Discuss the Controversial Firing of a Google Engineer for Sexist Remarks
Corporate Counsel turned to Barbara Hoey in the article “Google Engineer Firing: ‘No-Brainer’ or More Complicated” discussing Google’s firing of a software engineer after he distributed a controversial memo on gender diversity. Google is treading a fine line between protected workplace speech and rhetoric that creates a hostile work environment.
According to Barbara, Google firing this employee was both unequivocally legal and also just the right thing to do. Barbara stated, “In the context of this memo, you do exactly what Google did. It’s a no-brainer.”
Barbara explains that federal law allows an employee to make legitimate work complaints in a reasonable manner. “I think he [the employee who was fired] failed on both counts,” she added. His work complaint morphed into “absolutely stereotyped statements about an entire class of people, and the way he chose to communicate it was ‘inappropriate and disruptive of the workplace.’”
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