Google fired four employees for violating its policies on data security heightening tension between management and activist workers at a company once revered for its open corporate culture. Around 200 Google employees and supporters on November 22 rallied to protest the suspension of two colleagues, Rebecca Rivers, and Laurence Berland. Google not only fired both these workers but also two other employees who participated in the rally.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Google sent out a company-wide memo today confirming that it had fired four employees for “clear and repeated violations of our data security policies,” saying those workers “were involved in systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work,” continued to do so after warnings, and leaked some of that information outside the company.
Google fired the Thanksgiving Four for organizing at work.
We're calling on:
— Tech Workers Coalition (@techworkersco) November 25, 2019
“When other employees have engaged in the conduct Google cites in its memo, have they been fired?” said Jeffrey Hirsch, a University of North Carolina law professor, and former National Labor Relations Board attorney.
Moreover, in the past two years, some Google staff have been protesting over issues including the company’s work with the military, a censored search service in China and its handling of executives accused of sexual harassment.