The woman behind an internal memo that went viral at Google for alleging pregnancy discrimination says she plans to sue the company.
The previously-unidentified woman is now known to be Chelsey Glasson, according to a GoFundMe page that was launched Friday.
“I’m a mother of two young children and a victim of pregnancy discrimination. I will not be silenced,” Glasson says on the page.
“Pregnancy discrimination is sadly an issue that many families face, even at the most progressive companies. I know this because as a Google employee I faced and witnessed pregnancy discrimination, and then experienced retaliation for reporting the discrimination. You can read the details of my situation via a memo I published internally at Google, which was ultimately read by over 11,000 Google employees who were enraged by how I was treated.”
Glasson’s memo, which was posted on an internal message board for expectant mothers, made international headlines when Motherboard broke the story earlier this month.
Titled “I’m Not Returning to Google After Maternity Leave, and Here is Why,” the memo portrays the company as unsupportive of young mothers and protective of senior staff who exhibit discriminatory behaviour.
The essay begins a year-and-a-half ago when Glasson reported her female manager to HR for making inappropriate comments about the work ethic of another team member who was suspected to be pregnant.
She describes a near-immediate shift in her manager’s demeanor following the meeting, despite being told measures were in place to prevent retaliation.
“I endured months of angry chats and emails, vetoed projects, her ignoring me … and public shaming,” the memo reads.
Glasson says she learned her manager was making disparaging comments about her to senior staff and was looking to replace her, despite receiving good performance reviews and a promotion.
Additional complaints to HR did not appear to help.
“HR acknowledged they were aware of some of the activities and that such behavior was inappropriate, but stated there was no evidence of retaliation and that a formal investigation consequently wasn’t warranted,” the memo reads.
When Glasson became pregnant she says she felt forced to switch departments and take on a role of lesser responsibility due to the “unhealthy work environment” she found herself in.
Glasson is seeking to raise $300,000 to support her lawsuit and intends to donate leftover funds to parents who are fighting discrimination.
“The number of reported instances of pregnancy discrimination reveals that pregnancy discrimination is not on the decline,” Glasson says on her GoFundMe page.
“This doesn’t account for all of the unreported acts, and there are many given how hard it is to fight pregnancy discrimination. So many families are silenced. For those who can and do fight, they face career-damaging consequences, harassment from the employers they’re fighting, and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
“With a goal of shedding light on pregnancy discrimination and advocating for needed public policy and other changes, I plan to move forward with legal action against Google for the blatant acts of pregnancy discrimination that I experienced.”