Male Executive Sues Google For Discrimination After Being Fired

A former Google executive is claiming that the tech giant fired him after he refused sexual advances from a female executive. According to the lawsuit filed in New York federal court, Ryan Olohan, who worked with Google as managing director of food, beverage, and restaurants, said Tiffany Miller, the director of Google’s programmatic media, sexually assaulted him.

Olohan says Google’s reason for firing him in August was tied to failure to be “inclusive” after he favored employees that had recorded high performance.

When he asked the company why it believed he wasn’t “inclusive,” Google’s Employee Investigations team also told him the company took issue with his comments “on employees’ walking pace and hustle, which it considered ‘ableist.’”

As indicated in court papers, events that led to Olohan’s termination can be traced back to a company gathering at Fig & Olive on West 13th Street. The gathering was a celebration of Olohan, who had been promoted to the role of managing director of food, beverages, and restaurants and was joining a new management team that included Miller in Google’s Manhattan offices.

Miller had reportedly rubbed his stomach and commented on his body. She went on to tell the married father of seven that his marriage lacked spice.

Upon returning to the office, Olohan reported the harassment to colleagues and then to the HR department. However, there were no attempts to investigate. And while his complaints were met with a lack of interest, Miller’s attitude towards him changed, and she began retaliating against him. Per court papers, she reported him for “microaggressions.”

Miller not only allegedly subjected Olohan to undue criticism, but she also scolded him in front of colleagues at drunken company events in December 2021 and April 2022.

Per Olohan’s lawsuit, Google knew about his continued harassment in Miller’s hands but chose to ignore it. An HR rep noted that the issue would have been handled with more seriousness had the roles been reversed and a man had made advances at a woman instead.

Olohan’s lawsuit, which named both Google and Miller, alleged that Olohan was being faulted for being a white male as it claimed he was once told his management team had “too many white guys.” “Defendants discriminated against Olohan because of his gender and race, in violation of his statutory rights,” the lawsuit said in reference to the company’s vague complaints of non-inclusion.

The allegations of non-inclusion seem bizarre as a look at Olohan’s life suggests otherwise. His wife is Asian, making his seven children racial minorities. He also uses his spare time to foster inclusivity through an ice cream parlor he owns that employs people with Down syndrome. The shop, whose motto is “Many Flavors One Community,” donated above $70,000 to needy people in its first six months.

Aside from the discrimination and retaliation claims, Olohan is also accusing the company and Miller of fostering a hostile work environment.

Standing against his claims is Google, which says his termination was not a retaliation of any kind. “This employee was terminated with cause after a thorough investigation of complaints by numerous employees. We firmly stand by our decision here and we will vigorously defend ourselves against these claims,” it said in a statement defending its decision to terminate the plaintiff.

A spokesperson for Miller also denied the allegations, saying, “This lawsuit is a fictional account of events filled with numerous falsehoods, fabricated by a disgruntled ex-employee, who was senior to Ms. Miller at Google. Ms. Miller never made any ‘advance’ toward Mr. Olohan, which witnesses can readily corroborate.”

The spokesperson further accused the former Google worker of sexism and racism.