Google is under the limelight for firing its fifth employee suspected of organizing a labor union at the company. Kathryn Spiers, who was part of the Chrome security team, claims that she was let go for creating a pop-up on the internal browser informing colleagues of their labor rights.
Posting her story on Medium, Spiers explained that Google was recently forced by the NLRB to publish a list of employees' rights. Spiers then felt it her duty to share these rights with her colleagues by creating this pop-up.
Google proceeded to fire her.
What does Google have to say about it?
Engadget reported that they received an email from a Google spokesperson stating it had "dismissed an employee who abused privileged access to modify an internal security tool. This was a serious violation."
Hours after pushing the notification live they took my devices & put me on administrative leave. They then ‘investigated me’ and on Friday, after three weeks on admin leave, fired me for a policy they couldn’t explain.— Kathryn Spiers (@eiais) December 17, 2019
Here's pic of the popup. pic.twitter.com/Ltfef8dSc0
They added that the company would have responded similarly had anyone added a pop-up notification, regardless of what its content stated.
Spiers explained herself by saying "When I heard that Google had hired a union-busting firm and started illegally retaliating against my coworkers."
"I decided to make sure that my coworkers knew about the [list]," referring to Google's recent hiring of IRI Consultants.
According to Spiers, Google proceeded to suspend her on the spot, and brought her in for "interrogations". Ultimately, she was fired on December 13th for "violating Google's security policies," but without any further explanation.
I was fired last week by Google for organizing. All I did was make a popup to share the labor notice Google has to share with its workers.— Kathryn Spiers (@eiais) December 17, 2019
3 hours later mgmt came to my desk, took my phone/laptop, escorted me away. I never got to say goodbye.
My story: https://t.co/dV4ExPHbLT
This is not the first time a Google employee is let go for breaching "security policies." Just in November, four other employees of the firm were fired because Google deemed they had committed "clear and repeated violations of data security policies."
The ex-employees, however, believe they were let go for trying to create protests against problematic governmental contracts, and that they were falsely accused.
Spiers isn't going down without a fight, though, as she has posted on Twitter: