Google Employee Suing Google for its Confidentiality Policies
An anonymous Google employee has filed a lawsuit in the California Superior Court in San Francisco claiming that Google’s confidentiality policies are essentially a “spying program“.
The man behind the lawsuit believes these policies violate the state of California’s own labor laws, and they’re trying to get something done about it. It’s possible that this is the same employee who filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board earlier this year the same policies.
Google states these policies are currently in place in an attempt to prevent potentially damaging information from being leaked. These confidentiality policies go as far as to prohibit employees from even speaking about illegal activities within the company to lawyers. Instead, they reportedly encourage them to report other employees to higher ups within the company if they suspect someone of suspicious behavior (including allegedly just asking detailed questions about projects).
Google’s own Code of Conduct states it classifies “everything at Google” as confidential information. Employees aren’t allowed to write a novel about working at a large Silicon Valley corporation without getting final draft approval from someone within the company. Though it seems like the lawsuit is focused more on not being able to talk about specific legal violations to regulators and law enforcement agencies.
Our anonymous John/Jane Doe even used the Securities and Exchange Commission guideline as an example which prohibits companies from stopping their employees from reporting these violations. If Google is found guilty of violating California’s labor law, they could be fined up to $100 for each of the 12 violations for each employee they have on its campus. With over 61,000 employees right now, this fine could be as high as $3.8 billion since it can be doubled (for up to a year) if the violations persisted past a single pay period.
Source: The Information