According to a complaint to be filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), American multinational technology company Google has reportedly violated US labor laws. The company has allegedly spied on workers who were organizing employee protests, then fired two of them, namely, Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers.
The complaint is related to the firing of the two employees, which was connected with employee activism in late 2019. Berland’s contract was terminated for reviewing other employees’ calendars. What made this firing scandalous was that Berland was organizing against Google’s decision to work with a firm widely known for its anti-union efforts, IRI Consultants. The NLRB has a new founding and believes that Google’s policy against employees looking at certain coworkers’ calendars is unlawful.
“Google’s hiring of IRI is an unambiguous declaration that management will no longer tolerate worker organizing,” Berland said in a statement according to The Verge. “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.”
On the other hand, in another scandalous firing, Spiers was let go after creating a pop-up for Google employees visiting the IRI Consultants website. According to the Guardian, the pop-up read as, “Googlers have the right to participate in protected concerted activities.” In a statement that ruined Spiers’s reputation in the tech world, Google claimed Spiers had violated security policies. The firing was found to be unlawful by the NLRB.
“This week the NLRB issued a complaint on my behalf. They found that I was illegally terminated for trying to help my colleagues. Colleagues and strangers believe I abused my role because of lies told by Google 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,” Spiers was reported saying by The Verge.