Google fires an employee for leaking documents to the media and puts 2 others on leave (GOOG, GOOGL)

Tyler Sonnemaker
Google walkout London.JPG

REUTERS/Toby Melville


  • Google says it fired an employee for leaking company information to the media and put two more on leave who it accused of violating company policies.
  • The suspensions have fueled fears among Googlers that management is retaliating against employees, according to Bloomberg.
  • Employees had recently raised concerns over a new calendar tool that reported staffers who organized large events.
  • Google said the employees were placed on leave for improperly accessing and sharing documents and for tracking employees' calendars.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google has fired one employee and put another two on leave, a Google representative told Business Insider, confirming a Bloomberg report on Tuesday that detailed tensions at the company.

The representative told Business Insider that following an investigation Google fired an employee for leaking other employees' names and personal information to the media.

According to the representative, another employee has been placed on leave pending an investigation into whether the person improperly accessed a wide range of documents unrelated to the person's job after receiving warnings not to do so.

The representative told Business Insider a second employee placed on leave was suspected of tracking individual calendars of employees on the communications, human resources, and community platforms teams, which Google said made those employees feel unsafe.

Google said that neither employee was placed on leave solely for accessing a single document and that the company had long had information-access and -sharing policies in place.

Employees familiar with the suspensions told Bloomberg that the documents were related to an internal tool Google recently installed on employees' web browsers that tracks and reports efforts to organize large gatherings.

Google said the tool, which, according to an internal memo, monitors staff calendars and reports employees who attempt to create events with more than 100 invitees or 10 rooms, was meant to reduce the number of spam meeting invites that workers received. Employees, however, had raised concerns that the tool was meant to track those organizing protests.

Google and its parent company, Alphabet, have been roiled by such protests during the past year, including a walkout over the company's handling of executives accused of sexual misconduct as well as opposition toward Google's work with the US military.

The firing and employee suspensions have been the subject of intense discussion within the company in recent weeks, according to Bloomberg, as employees worry that Google — which has traditionally been known for its open and transparent culture — is attempting to crack down on dissent.

Multiple employees have left Google in the past several months in frustration after trying to organize workers in protest of various company policies, business decisions, and partnerships, evidence of a growing divide between management and rank-and-file employees as Google continues to limit employees' ability to communicate and organize across the company.

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