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Google Violated US Labor Laws By Spying On Workers, Regulator Alleges

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Google Violated US Labor Laws By Spying On Workers, Regulator Alleges

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary Google stands accused of unlawful surveillance, coercion, restrainment, and general interference of employees by the National Labor Relations Board Wednesday.

What Happened: The NLRB filed a complaint against the Sundar Pichai-led tech giant after it carried out an investigation into the firing of several employees in November last year, TechCrunch reported.

The complaint accuses the Mountain View, California-headquartered tech giant of discouraging its employees from “forming, joining, assisting a union or engaging in other protected, concerted activities.”

“This complaint makes clear that workers have the right to speak to issues of ethical business and the composition of management,” said Laurence Berland, who previously filed a complaint with NLRB alleging Google fired him and co-complainant Kathryn Spiers for organizing.

Last year, in November, the search engine giant also put another employee, Rebecca Rivers, along with Berland on leave for alleged violation of its policies.

After a protest in favor of the two employees put on leave, Rivers and Berland were fired along with two others.

Google told TechCrunch that while it put “immense trust” in its workers, actions undertaken by the employees “at issue were a serious violation of our policies and an unacceptable breach of a trusted responsibility.”

Why It Matters: Berland hailed the NLRB move, calling it significant “at a time when we’re seeing the power of a handful of tech billionaires consolidate control over our lives and our society,” as per TechCrunch.

Several other allegations made by the employees were not included in the NLRB complaint, which workers said they would appeal, reported Reuters.

The case would be heard by an administrative law judge in the coming months. 

This year in February Google’s head of human resources, Eileen Naughton, quit at a time when the company faced protests from employees and the gap between staff and employees widened over unionizing and activism.

Price Action: Alphabet class A shares closed 1.65% higher at $1,824.97 on Wednesday and Class C shares closed nearly 1.7% higher at $1,827.95.

Related Link: Alphabet Is Investigating Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Execs

 

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