A female software engineer who previously worked at Google sued the company for creating a “bro culture” that got her slapped, groped and sexually harassed by co-workers.
Google fired Loretta Lee after eight years of service for “poor performance” in February 2016.
The lawsuit filed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court claimed that “Google’s bro-culture contributed to [Lee’s] suffering frequent sexual harassment and gender discrimination, for which Google failed to take corrective action,” according to The Mercury News.
Lee accused former male co-workers of abusing her by making lewd comments, ogling “constantly” and shooting Nerf balls and darts at her “almost every day.” They allegedly put whiskey in her drinks, too.
In addition, she described incidents of a co-worker offering her a “horizontal hug,” and another offering to help fix a problem at her apartment and refusing to leave when she asked him to. She was also “slapped in the face by an intoxicated male co-worker for no apparent reason” during a party.
At one point, a co-worker popped up from underneath her desk and shouted, “You’ll never know what I was doing!”
The following day, another grabbed her lanyard to ask for her name before grazing her breasts with his hand. This incident reached Lee’s superior and the human resources department, which urged to launch a formal report. However, she refused out of fears of being ostracized as an “informer.”
After being tagged “uncooperative,” Lee finally reported the incident, but HR only found her allegations “unsubstantiated.” Co-workers soon started disapproving her code, which led to her appraisal as a “poor performer.”
A Google spokesperson told the DailyMail:
“We have strong policies against harassment in the workplace and review every complaint we receive. We take action when we find violations, including termination of employment.”
Lee is seeking an undisclosed amount in excess of $25,000 for the company’s failure to prevent sexual harassment, gender discrimination, disability discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation.