Google has a ‘bro-culture’ that allowed the daily sexual harassment of a female software engineer, according to a lawsuit by an ex-employee.
Loretta Lee, who worked for Google from 2008 to 2016, filed suit this month against the Silicon Valley giant for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and wrongful termination in California state court.
In the complaint, which was first published by Gizmodo, Lee alleges that she was subject to “lewd comments, pranks and even physical violence” on a daily basis, including having male colleagues spike her drinks with alcohol, shoot Nerf balls at her, send her sexually suggestive messages and, in one case, slap her in the face.
Lee was especially disturbed by an incident when she found a male co-worker on all four beneath her desk and “believed he may have installed some type of camera or similar device under her desk”, the complaint states. The suit alleges that Google’s treatment of Lee was “consistent with a pattern and practice of ignoring sexual harassment in the workplace, making no significant efforts to take corrective action, and punishing the victim”.
Earlier in February Tim Chevalier, a former Google engineer, sued the company for discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination after he was fired in November 2017 following several internal posts he made against racism and sexism.
“Chevalier, who is a transgender, queer and disabled, alleges that Google failed to protect its female, minority, and LGBTQ employees from harassment on internal forums… but was quick to crack down on those employees when they spoke out about their experiences with racism, sexism, and homophobia at work,” Gizmodo reported earlier.