Google really is evil, claims ex-employee lawsuit



  • Reply 41 of 42
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,137member
    auxio said:
    auxio said:
    That said, these guys have a right to express a dissenting opinion and peacefully protest. 

    But if they were abusing their job responsibilities to do so, well, Google is not “evil” in firing them. They were “evil” in exploiting their employers Time and resources to accomplish their personal agenda. 
    It'll be interesting to see all of the details in the case.  In my eyes, a company which states this in its code of conduct:
    And remember… don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right – speak up!

    should be supportive of people questioning things and raising concerns (even if management disagrees).  At the very least, they should have had managers address the concerns of this group before taking further action.

    Completely agreed. The article seems to hint that the employees were using their work time to further their personal interests. I think that’s probably the dividing line. 
    We don't really know the details of what happened and how it was handled yet, so it's all speculation at this point.

    One thing which does raise a red flag for me is the fact that they were fired for "leaking company information".  If they were using company time to protest, one would think that they would be fired for not fulfilling the requirements of their contract of employment (or whatever the legal term for not doing your job is).  But perhaps they grew disgruntled and truly did leak confidential information as a way to get back at the company.  We'll find out in the trial.

    …Google said that the three had each leaked information, and had used "systematic searches" for information "outside the scope of their job."

    the last part sounds like using company time and resources for something that wasn’t their job. That’s taking employer money snd not doing what the employer pays for. Terminable. 

    Leaking information is worse. Especially if they leaked it in hopes of building political pressure against the company that employs them. As if that somehow justifies the espionage. Talk about malicious. Prosecutable. 

    Put them both together and it’s “bye Felicia.” No need for trial. Basic “bad employee conduct” 101. People like that have no business calling others hypocrites for a “don’t be evil” slogan. 

    Hopefully a decent judge is in charge tosses this out before any more money is wasted on it. 

    Google is not on trial for doing business. And that’s all this amounts to. Google took on a contract. Good for them. These few may have disagreed with it, but that doesn’t mean Google was wrong. What clearly is wrong is industrial espionage from the inside and plain old not doing your job. 
    If you look into the history of this specific topic you’ll see roughly the following timeline:

    - A small number of Google employees (of the 140,000 total) brought their concerns about Google potentially doing business with CBP to the leadership team. As others have mentioned, they framed their argument within the scope of not wanting to be complicit in violating Google’s “do no evil” policy - which by the way was superseded years prior to this incident.  

    - Google’s leadership addressed their concerns by basically responding that the proposed business arrangement was very limited and benign and didn’t involve any of the activities of concern. They also allegedly said something to the effect of “end of discussion.”

    - Google’s leadership reminded employees at this time that making any public statements about existing or prospective customers without the permission of said customers was a serious violation of company rules and procedures.

    We can probably speculate that the former employees leaked information about the proposed CBP deal in a public forum, which would be a clear violation of the exact behaviors the employees were reminded about. In essence Google said if you do “X” you will be fired. We can guess that the former employees did “X” and were instantly jettisoned, as promised.

    Regardless about what you think about the whole deal, it’s understandable that a company would strive to protect the privacy and confidentiality of current and prospective customers. Knowing something about people, I’d say that some people inside Google didn’t take kindly to the “end of discussion” edict from their bosses. This seems to be a recurring issue with several recent high profile Google firings.

    Google isn’t alone in having employees express concerns about who their boss is dealing with and some companies including Google (and Microsoft and Amazon) have “backed away” from deals that had bad optics with employees. Unfortunately for those who thought that they’d “won,” in several of those cases the exact same products and services in question were ultimately delivered to the customer involved, but done through a third party contractor, systems integrator, etc. 
    edited December 2021 gatorguywilliamlondon
  • Reply 42 of 42
    Wow.  There is a lot of debate which is great.  The challenge is like most things, there is not a clear picture of who is right or wrong.  As a boss and as any employee let me point out some obviously missed thoughts as people quickly went to the socialist/capitalist debate.

    1. The is nothing wrong with Google’s code of conduct statement.  As a boss I get to dictate policy because I have that power, but a wise boss wants buy in with their team. Similarly I have an open door, where I want discussion and feedback on things.  That is how we change how we do things internally.  Having both hats, I take Google’s current code in that vain.  We want you to do good, be good with other, and when you see something “internally” speak up and let’s “try” to address it.

    2. Generally questioning a company’s position on something is great.  Like above most companies want a person that thinks, has passion, and cares.  As this is an external concern, those attributes can appear to show the person cares specifically about the company’s reputation.

    3. That general questioning goes downhill fast if you are a person that can’t accept a no, has a hidden or broader agenda, or has a boss that is a dictator.  

    4. The employees in this scenario did wrong not by questioning, but leaked information.  Simply put outside of a whistleblower protected concern, leaking information is generally against your employment agreements and often law.  

    5. Google could have tried to spin the situation to save face on this topic with a very divided country by negotiating or clarifying that their cloud services would not be used in direct support of the detention services.  That way they can still get the contract, still look good to both sides, and still give the appearance they are humanitarian at heart.
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