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But now you're getting into the "free speech for me, not for thee" part. You're basically saying that Damore is entitled to free speech and protection, but that Google and his former co-workers are not. Remember, who you work with is part of the freedom of association which is a component of free speech.



This is a strawman I'm very hard pressed to find anyone in HN at least who would deny Goolgle's right or another other party's right of writing a rebuttal to his claims. A free and open internal debate is exactly what Damore was trying to start. Firing to me at least is not speech, it's an inherently violent act.


It's not a strawman if plenty of people in this comment section are making the exact argument. And if I can't fire an employee for being hostile to my other employees, then I do not have freedom of association.


You do not have pure freedom of association. Both a set of laws and our culture do not allow you to refuse to do business with people.


Yes. However, none of those laws prevent you from firing someone who is creating a hostile work environment for your other employees.


[flagged]


“Hostile work environment” is a legal term of art in employment anti-discrimination law; it only applies when the hostility is a mechanism of discrimination against protected class, which “racists”, as such, are not.


That's my point. Nor are "people who are offended by challenges to their political beliefs". Ostensibly his crime was "creating a hostile work environment for women and minorities", but this is clearly not defensible to anyone who read his post. He was fired for challenging (an anti-white, anti-male, anti-conservative) political orthodoxy, and that's illegal in California.


> Ostensibly his crime

To my knowledge, Damore has not been accused of any crime.

> was "creating a hostile work environment for women and minorities",

No, only an employer can do that. Damore might have engaged in actions in the workplace that, in context, made it an unacceptable risk that by continuing to employ him Google would risk creating a hostile work environment for women and/or other protected classes.

> He was fired for challenging (an anti-white, anti-male, anti-conservative) political orthodoxy, and that's illegal in California.

Advocating change to corporate, rather than public, policy does not seem to be even remotely “political activity”, which is what California law actually protects, not that the California law would be valid if and to the extent it required corporations to undertake actions prohibited by federal law.


> To my knowledge, Damore has not been accused of any crime.

It's a figure of speech; I wasn't referring to a legal crime.

> No, only an employer can do that. Damore might have engaged in actions in the workplace that, in context, made it an unacceptable risk that by continuing to employ him Google would risk creating a hostile work environment for women and/or other protected classes.

I agree. I'm just trying to make sense of the parent's claim that Damore's behavior constitutes a "hostile work environment".

> Advocating change to corporate, rather than public, policy does not seem to be even remotely “political activity”, which is what California law actually protects.

My argument is that Google made inferences about his public policy beliefs based on his "memo", and fired him for those inferences. In other words, they inferred that he was conservative, and fired him because they felt his conservatism was too much a threat. Whether or not his speech is protected under California law is up to the courts.

Never mind that firing someone for innocuous (if misguided) corporate policy improvements is still morally indefensible.


> My argument is that Google made inferences about his public policy beliefs based on his "memo", and fired him for those inferences.

Well, it's your assertion. I don't see an argument supporting it.


There is more than one way to use the term. Anyway, your last three responses have been gratuitously pedantic. I'm not interested in debating formal definitions, so I'll be ducking out.

EDIT: Removed snarkiness.


You've been breaking the site guidelines badly, such as in this comment and in https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16060531. If you continue to do this we will ban you. Please read the rules at https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and fix this.


Fair enough. Sorry, I didn't see your previous reprimand since it was posted several days after my comment.

I corrected my previous comment.


Thanks! Much appreciated.


freedom of association is incidental to my initial response. I was speaking about freedom of speech they are different things.


Google is trying to run a company and having someone like Damore does not help that cause.


Firing someone is speech? A whole lot of laws disagree with you about that.


Firing someone is part of the right to free association.


It's limited. You don't get to fire someone for being black, or Jewish, or male, and crucially in California, for political speech you disagree with.




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