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White Male Google Ex-Executive Files Job Bias, Harassment Suit

Dec. 1, 2022, 5:59 PM

Google LLC’s White male former managing director of food, beverage, and restaurants was harassed by an Asian female director at a work dinner who later retaliated against him for spurning and reporting her, a federal lawsuit charges.

Ryan Olohan says the sexual harassment occurred at the Fig & Olive restaurant during a December 2019 dinner for Google’s consumer, government, and entertainment management team. His alleged harasser rubbed his stomach and told him he had a nice body, he says.

She also told Olohan—who is married to an Asian woman—that she knew he liked Asian women and that her marriage lacked “spice,” according to the suit filed Wednesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Olohan reported the incident to human resources, yet Google apparently never conducted an investigation, the suit says. That was so even though an HR representative told Olohan that such a complaint would surely be escalated if it were “in reverse,” the suit says.

The same woman made another drunken pass at him at an April 2022 off-site management team event at a karaoke bar, Olohan says.

That came amid her retaliation, which included falsely accusing him of “microagressions,” Olohan says. An HR business partner admitted to him that the woman was “being petty” in lodging those accusations, he says.

The retaliation also included the woman drunkenly rebuking Olohan at a table in front of numerous Google employees, for which she later apologized, the suit says.

She also encouraged another employee to complain to HR that Olohan wasn’t “inclusive” in his planning an off-site management team event, even though the plans were approved in advance by HR, the suit says.

Olohan was fired on Aug. 5 for allegedly not being inclusive, the suit says. That came after a vice president said Olohan’s team had “too many white guys” and Olohan was “strongly encouraged” to hire only female applicants and pushed to fire a male employee and replace him with a woman, the suit says.

When he asked during the call in which he was informed of his termination how he wasn’t being inclusive, he was told that he had shown favoritism towards high performers, Olohan says.

Causes of Action: New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law.

Relief: Declaratory judgment that Google violated the NYSHRL and NYCHRL; injunction permanently barring further unlawful conduct; compensatory damages, including for past and future economic losses and for emotional distress; punitive damages; pre-judgment interest; attorneys’ fees and costs.

Response: Google didn’t immediately respond Thursday to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment.

Attorneys: Alex Rissmiller of New York represents Olohan.

The case is Olohan v. Google LLC, S.D.N.Y., No. 1:22-cv-10163, complaint filed 11/30/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at pdorrian@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com