Google employees at the tech giant’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Are quitting their jobs to protest the company’s handling of allegations of sexual misconduct.
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The US National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Google and its parent company Alphabet, accusing the tech juggernaut of violating labor laws.
The company had “disturbed, restrained and forced employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the law,” said the complaint filed on Tuesday.
In the NLRB case documents, Google is accused of illegally spying on employees, firing several employees in retaliation for attempting to form a union, and illegally preventing employees from accessing work complaints and information using common tools such as calendar, email, meeting rooms and an internal communication tool to share with Google called MemeGen.
The NLRB expects a response from Google by December 16, and the agency announced that it will hold a hearing in San Francisco on April 12, 2021.
Google did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.
The NLRB’s conclusion comes a year after CNBC first reported that the NLRB had launched a new investigation into Google’s labor practices. This is also followed by a significant $ 310 million Google settlement against a shareholders’ lawsuit held by Alphabet that alleged the company ill-treated allegations of sexual misconduct by executives there.
The latest investigation comes after employee uprising over the questioning and subsequent dismissal of employees, including Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland, who were put on sudden and indefinite administrative leave in November 2019 for allegedly “disseminating business information outside their work area”. . During Thanksgiving Week 2019, Google fired four employees, including Berland and Rivers, who claimed they shared confidential documents and breached security. The workers filed a complaint with the NLRB shortly afterwards.
Shortly thereafter, Google fired safety engineer Kathryn Spiers after creating a pop-up notification for Google employees visiting the website of IRI Consultants, a company known for anti-union work that Google had discontinued. Spiers filed a lawsuit with the NLRB shortly thereafter.
At the time, workers were receiving public support from the president’s front-runners Sen. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who went on Twitter to beat up Google for alleged “anti-union” actions.
The NLRB consolidated the Berland and Spiers cases in the file filed on Tuesday.
The agency claims that Google illegally monitored employees “on multiple occasions,” including viewing an employee presentation in support of union efforts.
The complaint alleges that Google held a Global Investigations meeting at its San Francisco facility during which “its employees were questioned about their protected concerted activities by asking for access to employee calendars and MemeGen takedown documents” memes -Generator.
It also states that a new Google Calendar policy preventing employees from creating events with more than 100 employees or more than 10 rooms should “prevent employees from engaging in these or any other concerted activity.”
Clock: Google employees protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct