As reported yesterday by Recode, former Google engineer James A Damore filed a complaint against the search giantâs parent company, Alphabet Inc., with the National Labor Relations Board. Parts of that complaint have been given to Gizmodo through a Freedom of Information Act request and are available to read in full (excepting NLRB redactions) below.
Damore was the author of a 10-page manifesto,Â first reported by Motherboard and later obtained in full by Gizmodo, which he circulated to coworkers within Google. The document took aim at the companyâs diversity commitments, though many saw its contents as an attack on Damoreâs female colleagues.
The complaint, as filed to NLRB, alleges that Alphabet violated the National Labor Relations Act in the following specific ways:
since on or about august 2, 2017, the above-named employer has interfered with, restrained, and coerced employees in the exercise of rights protected by Section 7 of the Act by threatening employees because of their protected concerted activities and by making threats of unspecified reprisals against employees because of their protected concerted activities,
According to the NLRB website, Section 7 mostly pertains to workersâ right to unionize, and guarantees âthe right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.â A âconcerted activityâ is described as an activity related to the right workers have to âaddress work-related issues in many ways.â Examples given by the NLRB include:
Talking with one or more co-workers about your wages and benefits or other working conditions, circulating a petition asking for better hours, participating in a concerted refusal to work in unsafe conditions, openly talking about your pay and benefits, and joining with co-workers to talk directly to your employer, to a government agency, or to the media about problems in your workplace.
The NLRB further states, âYour employer cannot discharge, discipline, or threaten you for, or coercively question you about, this âprotected concertedâ activity.â
However, the same definition notes that âyou can lose protection by saying or doing something egregiously offensive or knowingly and maliciously false.â
Weâve reached out to Googleâs senior legal counsel and the NLRD case worker in charge of this complaint and will update if we hear back.
The FOIA response received by Gizmodo is found in full below. A number of fields were redacted by the Labor Department, including the name of the filer, citing two FOIA provisions exempting information the disclosure of which would constitute an âunwarranted invasion of personal privacy,â including one exemption that applies to records âcompiled for law enforcement purposes.â