Fired after rejecting sexual advances of female executive: Ex-Google employee
Google has been caught in a sexual harassment allegation by a former employee. Ryan Olohan, 48, has alleged in a lawsuit that he was fired by the tech giant after rejecting a top female executive's advances at a company dinner. The alleged incident took place in 2019 during a company gathering at Fig & Olive on West 13th Street, Manhattan, New York.
Why does this story matter?
- Google has been in the headlines after its parent Alphabet decided to cut 12,000 jobs. A lawsuit about the company trying to whitewash a sexual harassment issue soon after that is going to hurt its reputation.
- The nature of the allegations against Google and its female executive will certainly give more ammunition to the critics of the company.
A female executive allegedly made sexual advances toward Olohan
Per a federal lawsuit filed in Manhattan, Tiffany Miller, director of Google's programmatic media, groped Olohan's torso, complimented his physique, and told him that her marriage lacked "spice." Miller, an Asian, also told him that she knew about his affinity toward Asian women. The incident took place after Olohan was promoted to managing director of food, beverages, and restaurants.
Olohan felt uncomfortable after Miller's advances
According to Olohan, Miller's behavior made him "extremely uncomfortable" and "he immediately removed himself from the situation." He was initially uncomfortable bringing up the matter and attributed Miller's behavior to drinking too much during the event. However, his colleagues reportedly commented later that it was simply "Tiffany being Tiffany." Olohan reported the incident to Google's human resources department the next week.
Human resources did not take any action
Olohan's complaint to HR wasn't fruitful. According to the lawsuit, the HR representative openly admitted that if it was a female employee accusing a white male of harassment, the outcome would have been different. He claims that Miller retaliated by filing a false complaint against him for "microaggressions." According to Olohan that caused him anxiety.
Miller drunkenly berated Olohan on multiple occasions
Miller's retaliation against Olohan allegedly did not end there. Per the lawsuit, Miller drunkenly berated Olohan in front of his colleagues during a Google-hosted event in December 2021. She allegedly did the same during a get-together at a Karaoke bar in April 2022. Per court papers, although Google was aware of the reason for Miller's anger toward Olohan, it did not take any action.
He was fired for being 'non-inclusive'
Olohan was fired from Google in August 2022 after 16 years at the company. According to him, he was told that he was fired for being "non-inclusive" because he showed favoritism toward high-performing employees and commented on other employees' "walking pace." Per the New York Post, a spokesperson for Miller has denied all the allegations and called them fabricated.
Google and Miller are defendants in the lawsuit
In his lawsuit, Olohan has both Miller and Google as defendants. He accuses both of gender discrimination, race discrimination, retaliation, and making the work environment hostile. Olohan is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.