Google, the world-renowned technology giant, has had several legal problems lately. Known for its unique work environment, the company has still allegedly failed to maintain successful employment practices. Observers may recall that Google faced backlash last summer when a controversial memo leaked to the public.
Now, a female engineer has filed suit against Google for sexual harassment, disability discrimination and wrongful termination. The former employee claimed that “bro-culture” reigns supreme in the workplace, allowing male coworkers to harass women.
According to her file of official complaints, she has shocking claims of suffering harassment from her coworkers. Her coworkers allegedly shot her with foam toy bullets, secretly tainted her beverages with alcohol, hid under her desk, sent inappropriate messages, slapped her at a work party and showed up to her home uninvited. These actions would be clear examples of harassment if the court finds them to be true.
Despite these problems, the woman said that she was afraid to file a formal complaint with Google’s human resources department. She feared that her coworkers would lash out against her for speaking up. Although she eventually did file a complaint, she believes that the company dismissed her concern without taking any action.
During this time, the engineer also suffered from a crash-related disability. While the company agreed to accommodate her ability, her individual managers still purportedly held it against her.
In her last few months with Google, she received constant poor feedback and eventually lost her job. According to her report, Google was wrong to fire her because her coworkers unfairly affected and reported her performance.
While Google is unlikely to crumble in the face of one lawsuit, the company could have problems if more employees sue for discrimination and related issues. While the woman in this case references the behavior of individual coworkers, she also claims that Google HR is partially at fault. If these kinds of concerns increase and lawsuits succeed, they could begin to turn top talent away from Google.