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BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 26: A visitor passes the Google logo on September 26, 2012 at the official opening party of the Google offices in Berlin, Germany. Although the American company holds 95% of the German search engine market share and already has offices in Hamburg and Munich, its new offices on the prestigious Unter den Linden avenue are its first in the German capital. The Internet giant has been met with opposition in the country recently by the former president's wife, who has sued it based on search results for her name that she considers derogative. The European Commission has planned new data privacy regulations in a country where many residents opted in to have their homes pixeled out when the company introduced its Street View technology. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Google Spied On Employees Before Firing Them

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Google appears to have landed in some solid trouble. The search engine giant, as per a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been accused of spying on its employees. Two employees named Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers, who were fired back in 2019 in connection with employee activism, apparently were being spied on by Google. According to reports, Berland was working with IRI Consultants; a firm known for its anti-union efforts against Google.


He was let go when Google found out that he was reviewing other employees’ calendars. Now, as per NLRB, Google’s policy against the workers looking at others’ calendars is unlawful. Numerous employers were fired for the protest; and NLRB found the termination of Berland and Spiers as a violation of labor laws. “Their hiring of IRI is an unambiguous declaration that management will no longer tolerate worker organizing,” Berland said in a statement. “Management and their union busting cronies wanted to send that message; and the NLRB is now sending their own message: worker organizing is protected by law.”

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Spiers, on the other hand, was fired for creating a pop-up for Google employees; one that led them to the IRI Consultants website. The notification read; “Googlers have the right to participate in protected concerted activities.” In defense, Google said that Spiers violated security policies. NLRB also finds this firing as unlawful.


“Colleagues and strangers believe I abused my role; because of lies told by management while they were retaliating against me. The NLRB can order Google to reinstate me; but it cannot reverse the harm done to my credibility,” said Spiers. In case they choose to fight against NLRB, the complaint will go to an administrative judge in the coming months, as per The New York Times. And if Google loses the cases, it may have to pay the wages to both employees and rehire them.


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