A female software engineer at Google sued the tech giant for creating a ‘bro culture’ where she was sexually harassed at work, a lawsuit claimed.
Lee’s lawsuit – filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court – alleges that the company did not protect her, saying, “Google’s bro-culture contributed to (Lee’s) suffering frequent sexual harassment and gender discrimination, for which Google failed to take corrective action.”
Loretta Lee worked for the company in Mountain View, California, near Silicon Valley for eight years before she was fired in February 2016 for ‘poor performance’.
She filed a lawsuit to the Santa Clara County Superior Court alleging she was groped, slapped and sexually harassed by coworkers, according to The Mercury News.
Lee is filing her own lawsuit claiming male employees groped and slapped her before she was let go in 2016. She claims the company was notified by the continuous sexual harassment but did nothing to prevent it.
The suit described an incident where a co-worker popped up from underneath Lee’s desk one night and told her ‘she’d never know what he’d been doing down there’.
She reportedly was afraid he had left a camera or device installed underneath her desk.
Google claims it followed its procedure when employees file complaints. But Lee said in the lawsuit she was wrongfully terminated and experienced sexual harassment daily from male colleagues. During one incident, a male colleague showed up to her apartment with alcohol unannounced. Pictured is Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California
Lee was first hired for the company in 2008 at their Los Angeles campus before she was moved to the main location in Mountain View.
She claims the environment she experienced at the company for eight years was ‘severe and pervasive’ daily.
The lawsuit said she also experienced lewd comments, male colleagues spiking her drinks with whiskey, and males shoot her with Nerf balls.
One male colleague allegedly sent Lee a text message asking for a ‘horizontal hug’ and another showed up at her apartment unannounced with alcohol.
One male colleague grabbed her lanyard hanging form her neck to ask her for a name before he grazed his hand across her breasts, the lawsuit alleges.
Lee was told by her superiors in the company to file an official complaint the man who groped her, but she said she was afraid of being an ‘informer’.
She was then written up for being uncooperative, which forced her to file her complaint
But then human resources said it found her claims ‘unsubstantial’ and did nothing, according to the lawsuit.
A Google spokesperson told DailyMail.com: ‘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 from Google on top of $25,000 for failure to prevent sexual harassment, disability discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation.