Google LLC is already the subject of two lawsuits in California that accuse the company of gender discrimination and tolerating harassment of female employees. A new lawsuit emerging from one of the company's out-of-state data centers provides an example of alleged sexual harassment against a male employee. The 63-year-old man filed a legal complaint alleging that he was wrongfully terminated after complaining about the sexual harassment that he experienced.
The man worked at the location for four years. His court filings detail experiences like a supervisor unzipping his pants in front of him, sexually explicit conversations among co-workers and the presence of a sex toy at work. He feared retaliation if he reported the behavior. When his supervisor began to rate his work performance poorly, he sought legal advice and made a formal complaint to his employer in April. Google spent two months investigating his allegations. Upon completion of the investigation, he was fired. A human resources person said that his allegations were false because the supervisor was not gay.
His lawsuit has requested a settlement of $400,000, but the man would be content to get his job back and have the workplace adopt policies that protect employees from abuse. He made the decision to pursue the case because more people might be suffering mistreatment and afraid to take action.
A victim of sexual harassment has the option of discussing the problem with an attorney before communicating with an employer. An attorney could provide guidance about the collection of evidence and write the complaint to the employer. Ultimately, legal counsel could advocate for the worker and aim for a fair process.