Google memo writer hires Republican Party official as lawyer

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(Reuters) – The engineer fired from Google for writing a memo critical of the company’s diversity hiring policies has hired a lawyer who is a member of the Republican National Committee to represent him.

James Damore has not sued Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), over his termination but said earlier this month he is exploring his legal options.

Conservative lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, a member of the party-leading Republican National Committee, said on Wednesday she is representing Damore.

Before his firing, Damore submitted a charge to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board accusing Google upper management of trying to shame him into silence. Dhillon is representing Damore in that matter, according to the NLRB’s web site.

Dhillon was elected to the Republican National Committee in 2016. She previously served as vice chairman and chief spokesperson for the California Republican Party. She was a delegate and delivered a Sikh prayer at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Google fired Damore after he wrote an internal memo that said the lack of women in leadership roles in the tech industry was due to biological differences rather than discrimination.

In a letter to employees, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said Damore’s memo violated the company’s code of conduct “by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

Damore’s memo and his termination became flashpoints in the culture wars with right-leaning writers and websites embracing Damore’s stand and those on the left calling his arguments sexist.

Employment lawyers said employers have broad power to fire non-union employees and Damore faces an uphill battle legally challenging his termination.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Anthony Lin and Cynthia Osterman