Google is being sued by a former employee, who alleges that she endured constant harassment and “lewd comments” due to the company’s unhealthy “bro culture.”
Loretta Lee, a software engineer who worked for the Silicon Valley giant from 2008 until she was fired Feb. 2016, filed suit last month against Google for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and wrongful termination in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Calif., reports Gizmodo.
Lee alleges that she was subject to constant “lewd comments, pranks and even physical violence,” claiming that male co-workers spiked her drinks, and on one occasion slapped her while intoxicated during a holiday party. She was also shot at with nerf guns, and received a message from a co-worker asking for a “horizontal hug.”
The lawsuit also highlighted an occasion where Lee found a male co-worker hiding under desk, who allegedly shouted “You’ll never know what I was doing!” when he realised he was discovered.
“The incident with the co-worker under her desk unnerved her,” the lawsuit says. “Plaintiff [Lee] had never spoken to that co-worker before. She was frightened by his comment and believed he may have installed some type of camera or similar device under her desk.”
When Lee eventually complained, she claims her co-workers retaliated by refusing to approve her code, which resulted in the termination of her employment in 2016 due to “poor performance.”
“We have strong policies against harassment in the workplace and review every complaint we receive,” Ty Sheppard, a Google (GOOGL) spokesman, said in a statement. “We take action when we find violations – including termination of employment.”
Lee’s is the latest in a series of lawsuits against the tech giant, including James Damore’s class action lawsuit alleging the intolerance of white male conservatives.