A new lawsuit has accused Google of encouraging its employees to spy on one another, as reported by Quartz. The lawsuit, which was filed by an unnamed Google employee, also accuses the company of violating the California Labor Code and prevent employees’ “right to speak, right to work, and right to whistle-blow.”
Google has repeatedly been named a prime place to work, but this new lawsuit reportedly reveals some of its more complex inner workings. The plaintiff of the case, who was identified as a product manager for Google, argues the company is misusing its confidentiality agreement to put a kibosh on employee whistleblowing, as Quartz noted they can’t speak out about a number of things:
“The lawsuit says that the confidentiality agreements discourage workers from raising problems or wrongdoing in the company because of bans on discussing their wages, working conditions, or any nefarious conduct they encounter—even internally.”
Quartz revealed Google has a training program called “You Said What?” where it reportedly tells employees they are barred from writing about the company participating in any illegal, negligent or unlawful activities. And in an interesting tidbit, Quartz reported employees can’t even gripe to their spouses about their bosses performance.
The plaintiff argues because they can’t talk about their salary or skills they have learned at Google, it could hinder their chances for employment at a future company. For its part, Google called the lawsuit “baseless:”
“Transparency is a huge part of our culture. Our employee confidentiality requirements are designed to protect proprietary business information, while not preventing employees from disclosing information about terms and conditions of employment, or workplace concerns.”
The plaintiff is looking for a trial jury to see the case, and interestingly, this is the second instance of Google being criticized for reportedly censoring its employees.