A lawsuit brought by a former Google employee, who says that the company’s “bro culture” led to daily sexual harassment, is being expanded as a class action after Google tried to push the case into sealed, secret arbitration. Loretta Lee, a software engineer, was fired from her role at Google in February 2016 after eight years at the firm. Her lawsuit claims that she had raised complaints about sexual harassment and had sought medical leave shortly before she was fired.
The plaintiff alleges that her male co-workers spiked her drinks with alcohol, shot nerf darts at her, and made sexual comments to her. One co-worker texted her asking for a horizontal hug, while another hid under her desk. On Friday, attorneys representing Google tried to have Lee’s lawsuit dismissed and forced into arbitration, which would have prevented it from proceeding in the public eye, in stark contrast to Microsoft, which recently ended its practice of enforcing arbitration agreements in cases of sexual harassment.
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