Google spied on employees before they got fired: US Labor Board

San Francisco, December 3 (IANS): The US Labor Board has accused Google of breaking its laws by allegedly spying on workers who organized protests against workplace discrimination and then firing them.

Several other employees were fired following employee protests against workplace discrimination at Google, but according to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the US, the dismissal of two employees, Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers, violated labor laws, reports The Verge.

Berland and Spiers were fired by the tech giant in late 2019 over employee activism.

Berland opposed Google’s decision to partner with IRI Consultants, a company known for its anti-union efforts, when he was let go of looking at other employees’ calendars, the report said on Wednesday.

“Google’s hiring from IRI is an unequivocal statement that management will no longer tolerate employee organizing,” Berland said in a statement.

Spiers was fired after she created a pop-up to Google employees visiting the IRI Consultants website.

Google had said Spiers violated security policy.

Now the NLRB has said that the shooting was illegal.

“This week, the NLRB filed a complaint on my behalf. They discovered that I had been illegally fired because I was trying to help my colleagues,” said Spiers.

A Google spokesperson said: “We will continue to provide information to NLRB and the administrative judge about our decision to terminate or discipline employees who have abused their privileged access to internal systems, such as our security tools or the calendars. from colleagues “.

“Such actions are a serious violation of our policy and an unacceptable violation of a trusted responsibility, and we will defend our position.”

Google faced fierce protests from its global workforce last year over the company’s assault on sexual harassment allegations

In November 2019, nearly 20,000 Google employees around the world staged a strike.

Some Google employees charged the tech giant of workplace monitoring, saying they were reportedly viewed through a browser extension in the Calendar app, according to an MIT Technology Review report.

After facing employee anger over Google’s involvement in an artificial intelligence (AI) powered project by the US Department of Defense, the technology giant decided in 2018 not to renew the contract.

Called ‘Maven’, the program applies AI and Machine Learning to classify objects in surveillance images.

The decision not to renew the contract comes after some 4,000 Google employees signed a petition demanding “a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build war technology.”

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