A Republican congressman from California took to Twitter on Thursday, objecting to Google’s recent firing of an employee who criticized the tech giant’s left-leaning corporate culture.
“The mistreatment of conservatives and libertarians by tech monopolies is a civil rights issue,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa, tweeted.
The congressman’s tweetstorm was prompted by the recent firing of James Damore, an engineer who in a recent memo criticized Google for pushing mentoring and diversity programs and “alienating conservatives.”
“There was a lot of just shaming and ‘no, you can’t say that, that’s sexist,’” Damore said during a video interview posted online. “There’s just so much hypocrisy in a lot of things they are saying.”
Damore also took heat from liberal critics after asserting in his memo that women were underrepresented at tech companies because they “prefer jobs in social and artistic areas,” have a “lower stress tolerance,” and a “harder time” leading, while more men “may like coding because it requires systemizing.”
The critics called Damore’s claims unsubstantiated.
But the backlash against Damore didn’t sit well with Rohrabacher, a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan who is now serving his 13th term in Congress.
“I am very troubled by @google’s treatment of James Damore,” Rohrabacher tweeted. “You shouldn’t lose your job for telling the truth!”
Rohrabacher, who is up for re-election in 2018, called upon Congress to launch an investigation if tech companies are shown to be mistreating conservative and libertarian employees in the future.
Meanwhile, following the firing of Damore, Google canceled a scheduled town hall-style meeting among its employees.
“Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and worried they may be ‘outed’ publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall,” CEO Sundar Picahi wrote in an internal email to employees, the Wall Street Journal reported.