google, app maker, Google

A Google employee isn’t exactly happy about his employers extensive focus on confidentiality in the workplace. Thus, the tech behemoth is now being sued by an anonymous employee for allegedly violating the California labor laws due to its stringent confiedntiality policies. The employee has simply chosen to go with the name John Doe and uncovered some internal secrets in the disclosed documents.

The employee has filed a lawsuit against Google in the California Superior Court in San Francisco, reports The Information. One complaint which sheds light on the internal practices of the company, which apparently includes a ‘spying program’ that is said to encorage employees to report co-workers who they suspect of talking to the press and leaking insider information. Mountain View is giving its workers freedom to tattletale on one another, which doesn’t exactly seem right for a humongous tech behemoth.

The current California labor laws state that the employees should have the freedom to discuss workplace conditions and potential violations within the company without any fear of retribution. But, Google has numerous drafted policies which put an end to everything that the labor laws stand for.

The lawsuit goes on to add that Google is extremely cautious while preparing plans within the company. It is fearful of leaks and the alleged person responsible for the same could end up losing his/her job in seconds. The accuser mentions that confidential information is classified as ‘Everything at Google’ and this norm prevents the employees from sharing the specifics of their plans with either the press, members of an investment community, partners or anyone outside Google.

The company goes to extreme lengths to preserve its secrets within the four walls of the Mountain View headquarters. The lawsuit mentions some other vague policies, including one which prohibits employees from reporting illegal activities within Google, even to their attorneys. It has also drafted a policy which prohibits the employees from writing “a novel about someone working at a tech company in Silicon Valley” without prior approval.

Thus, the short and sweet summary of the aforementioned policies is that Google doesn’t want its employees to talk about their work outside their offices. And John Doe is gunning for the company’s policies because he has possibly been wrongfully accused of violating one of them. The lawsuit documents further add,

Google’s motto is ‘don’t be evil.’ Google’s illegal confidentiality agreements and policies fail this test

It has further been added that if Google is found to be guilty of twelve violations then the state would ask the company to payout as much as $3.8 billion. From the said compensation, the state would collect 75 percent of the amount and the rest would be distributed to their 65,000 employees who’re affected by these policies. That’d amount to about $14,600 per employee.

However, in an email statement dispensed by a Google spokesperson to Mashable terms the allegations in the lawsuit as baseless. It further goes on to defend the company’s culture and business practices, stating,

We will defend this suit vigorously because it’s baseless. We’re very committed to an open internal culture, which means we frequently share with employees details of product launches and confidential business information. 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.

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