Admire suing Google
Dude gets fired for saying his minority coworkers aren't qualified to work there and now he's crying about his rights.
He could write a book, how to ruin your career in one easy step.
Copy of their lawsuit here
Anyone find any gems?
The thing I don't understand is that his employment contract (almost definitely) contains an arbitration clause. He's probably required to file his claim in arbitration first before filing a lawsuit.
I'm surprised none of the other articles mention that.
January 9th, 2018 7:08pm
Hmm. I don't remember signing an arbitration agreement, but reviewing my offer letter it says I agree to sign an arbitration agreement on my first day.
I wonder if I never sent myself a copy.
Here we go.
(a) Arbitration. IN CONSIDERATION OF MY EMPLOYMENT WITH GOOGLE, ITS PROMISE TO ARBITRATE ALL
EMPLOYMENT-RELATED DISPUTES, AND MY RECEIPT OF THE COMPENSATION, PAY RAISES AND OTHER BENEFITS
PAID TO ME BY GOOGLE, I AGREE THAT ANY AND ALL CONTROVERSIES, CLAIMS, OR DISPUTES WITH ANYONE
(INCLUDING GOOGLE AND ANY EMPLOYEE, OFFICER, DIRECTOR, SHAREHOLDER OR BENEFIT PLAN OF GOOGLE IN
THEIR CAPACITY AS SUCH OR OTHERWISE), ARISING OUT OF, RELATING TO, OR RESULTING FROM MY EMPLOYMENT
WITH GOOGLE OR THE TERMINATION OF MY EMPLOYMENT WITH GOOGLE, INCLUDING ANY BREACH OF THIS
AGREEMENT, WILL BE SUBJECT TO BINDING ARBITRATION ADMINISTERED BY JUDICIAL ARBITRATION & MEDIATION
SERVICES, INC. (“JAMS”), PURSUANT TO ITS EMPLOYMENT ARBITRATION RULES & PROCEDURES (THE “JAMS RULES”),
WHICH ARE AVAILABLE ON THE “RULES/CLAUSES” PAGE OF JAMS’ PUBLIC WEBSITE, AND NO OTHER RULES FROM
JAMS. I AGREE THAT I MAY ONLY COMMENCE AN ACTION IN ARBITRATION, OR ASSERT COUNTERCLAIMS IN AN ARBITRATION, ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND, THUS, I HEREBY WAIVE MY RIGHT TO COMMENCE OR PARTICIPATE IN
ANY CLASS OR COLLECTIVE ACTION(S) AGAINST GOOGLE, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. DISPUTES
THAT I AGREE TO ARBITRATE, AND THEREBY AGREE TO WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO A TRIAL BY JURY, INCLUDE ANY
STATUTORY CLAIMS UNDER LOCAL, STATE, OR FEDERAL LAW, INCLUDING CLAIMS UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL
RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990, THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT
ACT OF 1967, THE OLDER WORKERS BENEFIT PROTECTION ACT, THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT, THE WORKER
ADJUSTMENT AND RETRAINING NOTIFICATION ACT, THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT, THE FAIR LABOR
STANDARDS ACT, CLAIMS OF HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION, WRONGFUL TERMINATION AND ANY OTHER
CONTRACTUAL, TORT OR STATUTORY CLAIMS UNDER FEDERAL, LOCAL AND ANY OTHER APPLICABLE LAWS OF THE
STATE IN WHICH GOOGLE EMPLOYS ME, TO THE EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW. I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS AGREEMENT
TO ARBITRATE ALSO APPLIES TO ANY DISPUTES THAT GOOGLE MAY HAVE WITH ME.
(b) Procedure. I AGREE THAT THE ARBITRATOR WILL HAVE THE POWER TO DECIDE ANY MOTIONS BROUGHT BY
ANY PARTY TO THE ARBITRATION, INCLUDING MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND/OR ADJUDICATION, MOTIONS
TO DISMISS OR TO STRIKE, DEMURRERS, AND MOTIONS FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION, PRIOR TO ANY ARBITRATION
HEARING. I ALSO AGREE THAT THE ARBITRATOR WILL HAVE THE POWER TO AWARD ANY REMEDIES AVAILABLE
UNDER APPLICABLE LAW, INCLUDING INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. I AGREE THAT THE DECREE OR AWARD RENDERED BY THE
ARBITRATOR MAY BE ENTERED AS A FINAL AND BINDING JUDGMENT IN ANY COURT HAVING JURISDICTION THEREOF.
I UNDERSTAND THAT GOOGLE WILL PAY FOR ANY ADMINISTRATIVE OR HEARING FEES CHARGED BY THE
ARBITRATOR OR JAMS EXCEPT THAT I WILL PAY ANY FILING FEES ASSOCIATED WITH ANY ARBITRATION THAT I
INITIATE, BUT ONLY SO MUCH OF THE FILING FEES AS I WOULD HAVE INSTEAD PAID HAD I FILED A COMPLAINT IN A
COURT OF LAW. I AGREE THAT THE ARBITRATOR WILL ADMINISTER AND CONDUCT ANY ARBITRATION IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE STATE IN WHICH GOOGLE EMPLOYS ME, AND THAT THE ARBITRATOR WILL
APPLY SUBSTANTIVE AND PROCEDURAL LAW OF SUCH STATE, WITHOUT REFERENCE TO RULES OF CONFLICT OF
LAW. TO THE EXTENT THAT THE JAMS RULES CONFLICT WITH THE LAWS OF THE STATE IN WHICH GOOGLE EMPLOYS
ME, THE JAMS RULES WILL TAKE PRECEDENCE. I AGREE THAT THE DECISION OF THE ARBITRATOR WILL BE IN
WRITING. I AGREE THAT ANY ARBITRATION UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL BE HELD IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH I AM
EMPLOYED BY GOOGLE OR WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF MY TERMINATION, IF APPLICABLE.
(c) Remedy. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY THE RULES AND THIS AGREEMENT, ARBITRATION WILL BE THE SOLE,
EXCLUSIVE, AND FINAL REMEDY FOR ANY DISPUTE BETWEEN ME AND GOOGLE. ACCORDINGLY, EXCEPT AS
PROVIDED FOR BY THE RULES AND THIS AGREEMENT, NEITHER I NOR GOOGLE WILL BE PERMITTED TO PURSUE
COURT ACTION REGARDING CLAIMS THAT ARE SUBJECT TO ARBITRATION. NOTWITHSTANDING, THE ARBITRATOR
WILL NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DISREGARD OR REFUSE TO ENFORCE ANY LAWFUL GOOGLE POLICY, AND THE
ARBITRATOR WILL NOT ORDER OR REQUIRE GOOGLE TO ADOPT A POLICY NOT OTHERWISE REQUIRED BY LAW.
NOTHING IN THIS AGREEMENT OR IN THIS PROVISION IS INTENDED TO WAIVE THE PROVISIONAL RELIEF REMEDIES
AVAILABLE UNDER THE RULES.
(d) Availability of Injunctive Relief. I UNDERSTAND THAT ANY BREACH OR THREATENED BREACH OF THE AT-WILL
EMPLOYMENT, CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION, INVENTION ASSIGNMENT AND ARBITRATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN ME
AND GOOGLE OR ANY OTHER AGREEMENT WITH GOOGLE REGARDING TRADE SECRETS, CONFIDENTIAL
INFORMATION, NON-COMPETITION OR NON-SOLICITATION WILL CAUSE IRREPARABLE INJURY AND THAT MONEY
DAMAGES WILL NOT PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE REMEDY THEREFOR. ACCORDINGLY, BOTH PARTIES WILL BE ENTITLED,
AS A MATTER OF RIGHT, TO SEEK AND OBTAIN, IN ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION WITH RESPECT TO ANY
ACTUAL OR THREATENED BREACH OF ANY PROVISION OF THIS AGREEMENT OR ANY OTHER AGREEMENT
REGARDING TRADE SECRETS, CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION, NON-COMPETITION OR NONSOLICITATION: (I) A DECREE
OR ORDER OF SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE TO ENFORCE THE OBSERVANCE AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PARTIES’
OBLIGATIONS; AND (II) AN INJUNCTION RESTRAINING SUCH BREACH OR THREATENED BREACH. IN THE EVENT THAT
EITHER PARTY SEEKS INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, THE PREVAILING PARTY WILL BE ENTITLED TO RECOVER ITS REASONABLE
ATTORNEYS FEES’ AND COSTS.
(e) Administrative Relief. I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS AGREEMENT DOES NOT PROHIBIT ME FROM PURSUING AN
ADMINISTRATIVE CLAIM WITH A LOCAL, STATE OR FEDERAL ADMINISTRATIVE BODY SUCH AS THE EQUAL
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, OR THE WORKERS’
COMPENSATION BOARD OR OTHER AGENCY OF THE STATE IN WHICH GOOGLE EMPLOYS ME. THIS AGREEMENT
DOES, HOWEVER, PRECLUDE ME FROM PURSUING COURT ACTION REGARDING ANY SUCH CLAIM.
(f) Voluntary Nature of Agreement. I ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT I AM EXECUTING THIS AGREEMENT
VOLUNTARILY AND WITHOUT ANY DURESS OR UNDUE INFLUENCE BY GOOGLE OR ANYONE ELSE. I ACKNOWLEDGE
AND AGREE THAT I HAVE CAREFULLY READ THIS AGREEMENT AND THAT I HAVE ASKED ANY QUESTIONS NEEDED
FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND ITS TERMS, CONSEQUENCES, AND BINDING EFFECT . I RECOGNIZE THAT I AM WAIVING MY
RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL. I AGREE THAT I HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY OF
MY CHOICE BEFORE SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT.
(g) Arbitration Clause, Governing Law. THIS ARBITRATION CLAUSE IS ENTERED PURSUANT TO AND GOVERNED BY
THE FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT (9 U.S.C. SECTION 1, ET SEQ.), BUT IN ALL OTHER RESPECTS THIS AGREEMENT IS
GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE STATE IN WHICH GOOGLE EMPLOYS ME.
I suspect you can't completely sign your right to sue away, and that lawyers throw this clause in just to make it one more thing they can throw at you that might stick.
although in section (d) it suggests you can still end up in court if either party seeks injuctive relief, so I'm sure he can add to his complaint that he wants the court to order Google to stop their affirmative action program and thusly the case must skip arbitration
The arbitration clause was mentioned in the lawsuit with Levandowski/Uber.
Google filed a lawsuit against Uber for theft of trade secrets.
They also filed an arbitration claim against Levandowski. They allege that he violated his non-solicitation agreements when he took Google employees with him to Otto/Uber. I'm not sure where the theft of trade secrets comes in.
Also, arbitration hearings are (allegedly) private, but a trial is public.
You also can sue after arbitration, but courts are extremely reluctant to overturn them (see the NFL vs player lawsuits). The arbitrators are chosen by the employer, so they naturally favor employers. (If an arbitrator gives the "wrong" decision, he can be removed from the pool of future arbitrators.)
January 9th, 2018 9:09pm
Reading through Damore's actual complaint now, they really are arguing that affirmative action is discriminatory against white men.
They're citing the pop culture understanding of affirmative action though. Surely their lawyers know better. Surely this has been held up by courts. Government agencies are advised to take affirmative action; arguing that Google is infringing their rights because they follow suit seems like a hail Mary play.
Perhaps Google's worth singling out because they clearly (based on the workshops they had us attend) spent a lot of time and put a lot of energy into their affirmative action program. Their HR people are just as science, math oriented as their developers are. They're singled out because it's actually effective.
Effective here of course means they're marginally better at non-discriminatory hiring.
A large corporation almost has to have an affirmative action program, otherwise they'll lose a racial discrimination lawsuit by women or minorities. An imbalance in gender/race ratios is taken as evidence of discrimination.
January 10th, 2018 9:18pm
I disagree with the statement that Google's HR is better than average. They seemed overworked and disinterested when I dealt with them.
January 10th, 2018 9:18pm