Another week and another Google controversy. This time, the search engine giants face a tussle with another former employee, Kathryn Spiers. Google had a turbulent year, featuring among our five tech companies that faced major problems from their staff in 2019.
It comes a week after the United States government launched an investigation to find out the reason behind the company’s sacking of four employees. As reported by CNN, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is still looking into this case.
Now, Kathryn Spiers, an engineer at Google files a complaint regarding what she sees as an unfair termination of her contract. The text sent by a lawyer on her behalf to the NLRB posted on Forbes reads:
“On or about December 13, 2019, Google unlawfully terminated the employment of Kathryn Spiers, an engineer with outstanding evaluations, in response to her concerted and protected activity.
“That activity included, but was not limited to, creating a “pop-up” alerting Google employees seeking to review the website of an anti-union consulting firm recently retained by Google had recently retained of their rights to engage in protected concerted activity.
“Specifically, the “pop-up” directed employees to Google’s Notice of Posting, required by the NLRB as a settlement in response to prior NLRB charges filed against Google. Spiers’ job description and responsibilities included creation of such notifications and warning “pop-ups.
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“Google’s interrogation of Ms. Spiers regarding her lawful actions and termination of her employment based upon those lawful actions, was done to attempt to quell Spiers and other employees from asserting their right to engage in concerted protected activities.
“Google’s actions are the antithesis of the freedoms and transparency it publicly touts and violates Ms. Spiers’ and other Google employees’ rights to engage in concerted activity protected under the National Labor Relations Act.”
A representative of the company had revealed earlier on Tuesday, 17th December 2019 that it had fired an employee. In the correspondence, the representative revealed that the employee had abused [her] privilege of access and modified an internal security tool. But there was no mention of the engineer’s name.
What Spiers had done was to create a pop-up message in Google employees’ browser. This directed them to a list of their rights as the company put up due to the government’s mandate. Her own way, she explains, of letting workers know they have a voice.
Kathryn also mentioned that she hoped the resolution would mean she would get her job back. She says this is not because of her love for the company but for the people using it.
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