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Google reconciles with an employee who said he was dismissed on activism




(Bloomberg)-Google has settled with a software engineer who claims that the US Labor Relations Commission has been fired for work activities. The government recently accused the company of exercising legally protected rights.

Alphabet Inc., according to government records obtained through the Information Disclosure Act. A private settlement between the unit and the dismissed employee Laurence Bergland was approved by the US National Labor Relations Board in July. The term is not disclosed. Google and Burlands lawyer Laurie Burgess, who denied cheating, declined to comment on the settlement.

NLRB continues to prosecute other allegations against Google, including the dismissal of an employee for creating a pop-up message informing colleagues of workers’ rights in protest of a corporate relationship with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. .. A San Francisco-based agency judge is currently hearing testimony about these allegations in his third week of trial.

In a complaint issued last year, the Labor Relations Commission’s regional director said that Google had dismissed workers, including Berland, who had been retaliated for accessing documents and calendars provided by the company to staff. Wrote to discourage him from engaging in legally protected activities. The company then issued a statement that it respected employees’ workplace rights but punished anyone who abused privileged access to internal systems such as security tools and colleagues’ calendars.

In a testimony at a Labor Relations Commission trial last week, Burland said he was working on changing the calendar of a particular colleague to see what role anti-union consulting firms are playing in censoring internal criticisms of companies. He said he had signed up for the latest information. Called as a witness to some of the other allegations against the company, Burland was worried that our rights might have been infringed when Google asked him before he was fired. I told you that I had accessed.

Berland and other employees were dismissed in late 2019.

Professor Michael Duff, a former Labor Relations Commission lawyer at the University of Wyoming, said a private company like Burland when a dismissed employee signed a contract with a company that workers would get their wages back but not their jobs. Reconciliation was said to be the most frequently used. In the absence of a settlement, the Labor Relations Commission can order employees to repay, but they are not authorized to impose punitive damages and the appeal can last for years. The ultimate preventative measure to deal with this situation is the organization of workers, not any kind of legal process, Burland said last year.

Witnesses who will testify in an ongoing trial include Google’s Chief Legal Officer, Kent Walker. Judge Eleanor Rose, who is hearing the case, ordered Walker to submit to a question from a lawyer for a dismissed worker. The law is published in a message that Walker sent to employees to highlight some of Google’s policies at issue in dismissal, and in his name that the company took employees off for action. I quoted a blog post. It causes a lot of stress by tracking a wide range of their work, and the individual calendars of their colleagues.

Burgess argued that Walker had played an important role in making public announcements, deciding that workers were allegedly in breach of company policy. Walker wrote in an affidavit filed by Google as part of a failed effort to prevent questions that the blog post was actually created by someone else and has just been approved.

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