The fired engineer considering legal action against Google now says his former employer is trying to smear his reputation. James Damore, 28, tells Bloomberg his 3,300-word memo—blasting "unfair" diversity policies on the basis that biological and psychological differences with men make women ill-suited for tech jobs—had been circulating at Google for a month before he was contacted by superiors. "It was only after it got viral that upper management started shaming me and eventually firing me," Damore says. "The whole point of my memo was to actually improve Google ... and they just punished me and shamed me for doing it." Damore cites a Fortune column from the head of Google's YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, as one example.
Wojcicki argues that applying Damore's comments about women to "Black, Hispanic, or LGBTQ employees" shows how "the language of discrimination can take many different forms and none are acceptable or productive." But Damore says that's "a false analogy" that shows Google is "trying to smear my image rather than just looking at the evidence." Prior to his firing, Damore also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board arguing his superiors at Google were "misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints," reports CNET. Damore tells Bloomberg that some of his supporters at Google have since been contacted by human resources. A Google rep, however, says that's "absolutely untrue." (Read more Google stories.)