To Google, pregnancy is evil

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Google’s motto is “Do no Evil”. We have to assume the company includes getting pregnant as an act of evil, according to a recently filed job discrimination lawsuit.

ZDNet writes:

Christina Elwell, who was promoted to national sales director in late 2003, alleges her supervisor began discriminating against her in May 2004, a month after informing him of her pregnancy and the medical complications she was encountering, according to the lawsuit filed July 17 in a U.S. District Court in New York.

Elwell informed her boss in April of 2004 about being pregnant with quadruplets, and that she wouldn’t be able to travel for some weeks because of complications. Her boss, Timothy Armstrong, showed her a chart of the organization with her name removed in May, saying that she was being removed from the position because she couldn’t travel. He offered another position in operations, which she considered a demotion. She countered with a request for the East Coast sales director position, which meant she could continue in her field of interest, sales, and be able to travel for her job, because she could take trains or drive.

According to, Armstrong initially agreed, and then reneged on the deal, appointing someone who Elwell had originally hired, and who did not have her experience:

A conciliatory Elwell offered to self-demote herself to Director of East Coast sales allowing her to travel by train and car. Agreeing and then soon after reneging, Armstrong promoted to that position a man Elwell herself had hired and deemed less qualified with no Internet sales experience.

After calling Elwell “an HR nightmare” in June, Armstrong expressed that he no longer wanted her at the New York office. The next day he fired her over the telephone claiming he had a “gut feeling” it was “the right thing to do.”

A few weeks later, Google’s human resources department informed Elwell she had been fired improperly. Just days after that, Elwell lost the third of her unborn quadruplets.

What’s even more interesting is some of the reaction to the story, such as this from a commenter at ZDNet:

This is why women cannot gain traction toward equality in the workplace.

I wonder if people would say the same about a man who can’t travel because he just had bypass surgery? After all, if men didn’t eat so many Biggie Burgers at Burger King, exercise too little, get too stressed and drink too much, they wouldn’t need to have bypass surgery.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email