Google draws flak for sacking 4 employees


The tech giant fired the employees for "clear and repeated violations of [Google's] security policies" after they shared calendars and documents related to a protest against the company's decision to hire a firm known for anti-union efforts, the memo published by Bloomberg read.

Google confirmed Monday that it had sacked the four employees for accessing their peers' calendars and sharing sensitive information with outside sources.

A new controversy at Google showcases the ambiguous nature of the double-edged sword that is a company's data discovery policy.

After they had been suspended earlier than the layoffs, two of the quartet arrange a protest rally on Friday on the firm's places of work in San Francisco, in accordance with U.S. media.

A type of fired was Rebecca Rivers, a software program engineer who was on the heart of a rally final week after she was indefinitely suspended.

However, a Medium account connected to a massive Google employee strike previous year argued that the four employees had been fired to try to crush the efforts to organize the staff.

By accusing the employees of unauthorized access to documents, the organization Google Walkout for Real Change wrote in a post at Medium, the company is conducting "classic union-busting dressed up in tech industry jargon".

The San Francisco protest last week saw workers demand that Google reinstate two employees who had been put on administrative leave, namely Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland. The rally was joined by over 200 Google employees and supporters, who chanted "Bring them back".

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Google recently announced it would hold fewer "TGIF" all-hands meetings due to leaks, took down memes that criticized the hiring of a former Department of Homeland Security staffer, and deleted questions during an all-staff meeting about the appointment of that staffer. In an official blog post, the company laid down new guidelines and clearly stated, "Our primary responsibility is to do the work we've each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics".

"When they did, Google took revenge on them".

Rivers hasn't commented beyond her tweet confirming the firing.

The internal company memo said that there had been "misinformation circulating about this investigation".

A memo to employees titled "Securing our data" sought to correct what it contended was misinformation about the purported wrongdoing, saying it involved "systematic searches for other employees' materials and work", according to reports by United States media. This led to targeted staffers feeling "scared or unsafe", Google said.

Over the past two years, Googlers have been protesting and organizing over issues including its handling of how management deals with sexual assault and harassment accusations, its controversial work the military, and the treatment of its LGBTQ+ content creators on YouTube, Google's subsidiary company. As The Times reported, that global protest signaled employees' growing concern with a breakdown of the transparency and trust that long-defined Google's corporate culture. The company is home to million of employees around the world.

Nevertheless, the Google workers' statement distributed on Monday emphasized that the company will never crush their efforts.

In the midst of Google's internal criticism, the tech giant has retained the services of an anti-union consultant law firm to advise management on how to handle internal retaliation.