The company fired four employees last year following protests, but the NLRB only took over two of their cases. One of said workers, Kathryn Spiers, added a pop-up notification to an internal version of Chrome which reminded his colleagues of their right to organize. At the time, Google said it had “dismissed an employee who abused privileged access to modify an internal security tool”.
The other former Google employee named in the complaint, Laurence Berland, was fired after consulting his colleagues’ calendars. Google said it left Berland to look into data security breaches. Berland was involved in the organization against Google partnership with an anti-union consulting firm. If Google decides not to settle the complaint, the case will be taken to an administrative judge.
Google has faced further accusations of retaliation against employees who organized demonstrations and reported workplace issues. Workers have demonstrated on the management of sexual harassment by the company. They also protested against his decision to work with the Defense Ministry and federal border agencies.
Meanwhile, Timnit Gebru, who was co-lead of the Ethical Artificial Intelligence team, wrote that Google fired her yesterday via an email she sent to an internal group. Gebru said her direct reports were told she had resigned (which she suggested if the company did not agree to certain conditions), but claimed she did not.
I was fired by @JeffDean for my email to Brainwomen and Their Allies. My corporate account has been cut. So I was immediately fired 🙂
– Timnit Gebru (@timnitGebru) December 3, 2020