Lawsuits can be the source of all sorts of surprising and off the wall stories and this one, filed by a Google Atlanta-based former data center employee takes the cake. In the lawsuit, which was filed on Oct. 29 in a federal court in Atlanta, the former employee, James Bara, alleges both sexual and religious discrimination from his superior.
While it doesn’t sound juicy, the stories that Bara tells are. Bara was initially a contractor for Google’s Atlanta office, working as an assistant in the Data Center. After six months, he was hired by Google as a full-time employee. According to the complaint, all was rosy for the next two years until a female transgender employee joined the group Bara worked for. Bara’s boss, a woman named Pam Sohn, allegedly made inappropriate comments about this woman, and ridiculed her sexual preference.
Bara complained about the comments to Sohn, who Bara says turned on him and began to treat him, and the other men in the office unfairly. Bara, who is a member of the Wiccan religion, also said that Sohn made inappropriate comments directed towards him about witches and his religion that made him feel uncomfortable. For example, Sohn would sing The Wizard of Oz’s “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead.”
Bara’s employment was eventually terminated by Google after long standing issues with Sohn. There’s more in the lawsuit, but you get the picture. It’s totally bizarre, and also very sad if these allegations are true. Bara is seeking punitive damages as well as compensation for attorney fees.
We’ve received an official response from Google:
“After a thorough investigation, we have no reason to believe James Bara was discriminated against or treated unfairly, and we’ll defend ourselves vigorously against these charges. Google values a diverse and respectful workforce and does not tolerate discrimination.”