Google Calls for Dismissal of Employee Lawsuit Over Mental Illness Termination

Google mental illness employee lawsuit

San Francisco, CA — Google LLC has urged a California federal court to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the tech giant wrongfully fired an employee due to his bipolar disorder. Instead, Google argued the termination was justified by threatening emails the employee sent rather than his mental illness.

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In a motion filed Friday, Google requested summary judgment in the lawsuit brought by former employee Steven Newman. Newman alleges discrimination, retaliation, and failure to accommodate in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Newman, who filed his complaint in May 2022, claims he experienced a manic episode in mid-2020 that led him to send “unusual emails” to colleagues, mostly about wanting to buy the company’s gSuite for billions of dollars. He contends he was fired shortly after his doctor cleared him to return to work.

Google disputes these claims, stating that several of Newman’s emails while on medical leave contained threats of violence against a former supervisor and detailed how he would carry out such plans. The tech company asserts these emails violated corporate policies and justified Newman’s termination.