If multiple online reports are to be believed then all is not well with Google and its employees. A report by The New York Times last week revealed that Google has apparently hired a consulting firm known for helping companies crack down against employee dissent. Now, a new report by Bloomberg reveals that the tech giant has fired four employees citing violations of its data-security policies as the reason.
However, as the Bloomberg report states that tensions between Google and its employees have on the rise over multiple issues. The firing of the four employees, include Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland, who were at the centre of rally against Google, seems to have created a stir.
Rivers was reportedly put on leave over allegations that she had accessed documents that weren’t related to her work. Rivers took to Twitter and confirmed that she was indeed fired.
Google in a memo to its employees said that, “To the contrary, our thorough investigation found the individuals were involved in systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work. This includes searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs.”
According to a report by The Verge, Rivers “reportedly organized Google workers to protest the company doing business with US Customs and Border Protection.”
There have been a series of protests against Google by its employees in the last one year or so. In November 2018, about 20,000 Google employees staged a mass walkout to protest allegations of sexual misconduct by Google executives. There were also protests against Google being reportedly working on a search engine or a project in China. Employees also expressed their displeasure against Google reportedly working on a controversial drone program for the Pentagon.
Google, earlier this year, issued a new set of guidelines for its employees. Among other things that are now ‘banned’, Google employees are not allowed to have “raging debates over “over politics or the latest news story”. 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.” This was done after an employee accused Google having a bias in its search results on conservative views.
The Mountain View-based tech giant made clear to its employees that working for it is a responsibility. The blog post noted, “Working at Google comes with tremendous responsibility. Billions of people rely on us every day for high-quality, reliable information. It’s critical that we honor that trust and uphold the integrity of our products and services.”
Employees are being told to responsible and whatever they might say they would be accountable for them. “What you say and do matters. You’re responsible for your words and actions and you’ll be held accountable for them,” noted the blog post.