On February 16, 2018, the attorneys of Hoyer & Hicks filed a lawsuit against Google on behalf of their client Loretta Lee alleging claims of sex harassment and disability discrimination (Santa Clara Superior Court Case No. 18CV323651). A summary of the allegations are as follows:
Lee worked as a Software Engineer for Google for over seven years. She performed well in her position and was regarded as an excellent engineer, receiving many commendations over the years. In a male-dominated workplace, Lee was frequently subjected to sexual harassment as her male co-workers engaged in inappropriate behavior and made lewd remarks to her. Some examples are as follows: Male colleagues spiked her drinks with whiskey and laughed about it. Male engineers shot nerf balls and darts at her almost every day. On occasion, male colleagues sent Lee disturbing and bizarre messages. One colleague sent her a text message asking if she would like a “horizontal hug.” Another showed up at her apartment with a bottle of liquor and offered to work with her to fix a problem she was having with one of her devices. Lee asked him to leave but he refused. During a holiday party, Lee was slapped in the face by an intoxicated male co-worker for no apparent reason.
After one particularly troubling incident when Lee found a male co-worker hiding under her desk, refusing to explain himself, Human Resources pressured Lee to file a report against him. When Lee refused to file the report for fear of being labeled an informer, Human Resources wrote her up and failed to take any remedial action regarding the incident.
Over the next few months, Lee was, as she feared, labeled an informer. Neither the harasser nor anyone else in her group would approve her code and she did not receive appropriate feedback on her work, causing needless delays in her projects.
Also around this time, Lee took a medical leave to treat for her mental health after working extreme hours for many years. Shortly after she returned, Lee also requested time to attend physical therapy appointments for a car accident injury. Google failed to grant her requests for accommodation or engage in an interactive process to accommodate her disability.
In February 2016, Google terminated Lee for trumped-up “performance issues.”
This lawsuit has been cited by several news sources:
If you have any information about Lee's case or have been similarly subjected to sex harassment or disability discrimination, please submit your information below: