Google fires four employee activists for allegedly ‘violating’ company policies

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Google has fired four employees citing violations of the company’s data-security policies. Among the four employees that have been fired (via Bloomberg) are Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland. Both Rivers and Berland were put on indefinite administrative leave earlier this month. Rivers has confirmed in a tweet that she is indeed being terminated.

Google claimed that while one of them had searched and shared information outside the scope of their jobs, the other had accessed calendars of several employees outside of their work group. Protestors, on the other hand, who held a rally outside Google’s office in San Francisco last week, say both Rivers and Berland were being punished for simply speaking out against the company. The protest saw hundreds of employees and protestors demand Google reinstate Rivers and Berland.

Rebecca Rivers had played an important role in creating a petition against the company’s work for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, while Laurence Berland had participated in protects against YouTube’s hate speech policies.

In the recent past, Google is reported to have taken quite a few steps to keep internal activism in check. A report published by The New York Times last week had claimed Google has hired ISI Consultants, an anti-union firm to crack down on activism. Additionally, the company has reportedly implemented a tracking tool as well on employee’s browsers.

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