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Google pays six engineers ‘undisclosed amount’ in retaliation lawsuit

Google allegedly paid six engineers (or at least four) and reached an undisclosed settlement with them in a lawsuit that involved retaliation over workplace activism.

Workplace activism has been a thorn in the side for several tech companies, but Google stands out for its relentless effort to crush it. In August 2021, a court ruling uncovered Project Vivian — the search engine company’s secret campaign to end any form of union within the organisation.

The recent court settlement sees four people of the six complainants not return to their jobs, while two get to stay on. CNET says that the four engineers were fired in 2019 because they broke Google’s ‘security policy’ over ‘workplace activism.’

They had taken the matter to the National Labor Relations Board, who dragged the tech giants to court. In a statement after the settlement, Google says:

“We settled the NLRB charges and associated litigation and are pleased for all sides to avoid years of legal proceedings. We’ve always supported our employees’ right to speak about working conditions, and we stand by our policies that protect the security of our systems and safeguard user, customer and employee data.”

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One of the fired engineers, Kathryn Spiers, said that her initial desire was to get reinstated at the company, but over the years, the people she looked forward to working with at Google had left. “I think this is about as much a victory as can be had through the NLRB,” Spiers mentioned.

Much of Google’s internal problems are regarding the company’s partnerships with questionable entities like militaries, immigration enforcement agencies, and fossil fuel companies. Several employees are uncomfortable working for Google while they handle these kinds of deals, and when they speak up, its retaliation comes in several ways.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.