A lawsuit by a Google product manager, which was filed on December 21, 2016, states that the company runs an “internal spying program” that encourages employees to “tattle” on one another.
The employee is suing Google, stating that the “spying” policies violate the California labor laws.
According to the suit, Google has several policies in place that make it impossible for employees to give information that may harm the company’s reputation, including illegal conduct and contract breaches that takes place within Google itself.
In fact, employees are urged to report fellow co-workers who they think might be “leaking” information to a third party, including misconduct on the company’s part.
The report also states that employees may not complain about activities they deem suspicious or possibly even illegal to Google’s attorneys for fear of repercussions.
The suit, which was filed by an anonymous Google employee, also claims that Google has a program named Stop Leaks which aims to curb confidential information about the company.
The program asks that employees not just report when they know for sure that someone has leaked information, but to report on “strange things” they might hear around the office.
These “strange things” can be someone asking too many questions about a project or probing into too much detail about a co-worker’s job.
The confidentiality agreement within the company is so strict that employees are even barred from writing fictional novels about “someone working at a tech company in the Silicon Valley” without express approval of the final draft from Google.
This isn’t the first time Google has come under hot water for its crazy confidentiality clauses.
This past September, an employee complained to the Labor Workforce and Development Agency about some of the ridiculous policies Google has instated.
Google responded by saying “[we plan] to broaden Google [employees] right to discuss pay, hours or other terms of employment and to communicate with government agencies regarding violations of the law” and placing an amendment in the terms and policies.
However, those that work at Google state that despite this amendment, most employees were never informed of the changes and no policy changes resulted.
If Google is caught violating California labor laws, its financial consequences could be huge.
Each employee (all 61,000 of them) might be due over $14,o00.
At a maximum, it could cost the company $3.8 billion.