Engineer behind controversial manifesto is out at Google

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The manifesto was quickly embraced by some, particularly on the political right, branding him a courageous truth-teller. Gab.ai, a far-right social network, also offered Damore a job, calling his writing "a lovely work of art".

He said: "Censorship is for losers".

"They are concerned that women are channeled to levels and positions that pay less than men with similar education and experience", Finberg told the Guardian.

"Free speech at a private sector employer is not a protected right", said Rossein.

The Google CEO also said that there are employees who are questioning whether they can safely express their opinions, especially ones that might fall into a minority.

Then Damore was sacked - according to media reports and his own email to the far-right news website Breitbart - which sparked a new backlash from those claiming Google was stifling free speech. His title at Google was software engineer and he had worked at the company since December 2013, according to a profile on LinkedIn. He then went to Harvard to obtain a Ph.D.in systems biology. He could not immediately be reached on Tuesday.

She continued: "But even if you accepted the idea that there are some biological differences, all researchers would assert that they're so tiny that there's no way that they can explain the kind of gender gap that's apparent at Google". Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor brought a case against Google for allegedly violating federal employment laws by paying women less than men. The complaint claimed Google management was trying to silence his views. But as the value of top-notch programming became clear, it became a mostly male domain and the vast majority of programmers in the tech industry are now men.

He also argued that people inherently want to protect women, which in turn creates a hostile environment for men: "As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and agreeable than men".

Tech firms have an abundance of "smart, confident people who think they have an obligation to share their wisdom with their coworkers", the executive said.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai is cutting short his vacation to return to office as a gender debate raging among the tech major's employees has gone public, much to its embarrassment.

Damore said he was subjected to "coercive statements" while working at Google.

"He's walking dangerously between who he is personally and who he is professionally", Ledbetter said in an interview.

A relevant one, in the case of the Google engineer who has been identified in media reports as the memo's author, James Damore, is that the National Labor Relations Act does protect workers who engage in "concerted activities" for their "mutual aid or protection".

He said that after the training, he wrote the memo to clarify his thoughts.

"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism", he wrote. "I'm advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism)".

You can read the full memo here.

In his email to Reuters on Monday, Damore suggested Google may have retaliated against him for filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board shortly before he was sacked.

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