SAN FRANCISCO — A software engineer has sued Google, alleging she was subjected to repeated sexual harassment by male co-workers and the Internet giant didn’t do enough to stop it.
Loretta Lee’s lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court paints a picture of tech “bro culture” run amok. Lee, who began working for Google in 2008 and was fired in February 2016 for poor performance, says she was targeted by lewd comments and ogled, that male co-workers spiked her drinks with alcohol with one asking her for a “horizontal hug” and another slapping her while intoxicated.
While working late one night in January 2016, she says she found a male colleague hiding under her desk. When she spotted him, he jumped up and shouted: “You’ll never know what I was doing!” according to the lawsuit. The next day, he grabbed her name badge on a lanyard around her neck and asked her name, while his hand grazed her breasts, she claims.
Lee says she reported the incident at the urging of her supervisor and the company’s human resources department but her claims were found to be “unsubstantiated,” emboldening her coworkers to continue the harassment. Her co-workers also refused to approve the code she wrote, leading to her being labeled as a “poor performer,” according to the lawsuit.
“We have strong policies against harassment in the workplace and review every complaint we receive,” Google said in a statement. “We take action when we find violations including termination of employment.”
The lawsuit is the latest allegations to hit the tech industry since the #MeToo movement began to spread nationwide.
The treatment of women has put Google on the hot seat in recent months. It’s being sued by women who allege Google pays them less than men and investigated by the Labor Department into what it says is “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire work force.” Google says its own analysis of employee compensation shows no gender pay gap.
At the same time, Google has encountered resistance from within its own ranks to diversity efforts to hire more women and people of color.
Source by usatoday..