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Google settles with worker allegedly fired for his workplace activism

Google settles with worker allegedly fired for his workplace activism


Laurence Berland has settled with Google

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google reached a settlement with a fired employee who the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claims was let go from the company for his workplace activism, Bloomberg reports. The employee, Laurence Berland, was fired in 2019 allegedly for violating Google’s data security policies. He had been a vocal critic of Google’s work with the US Customs and Border Protection and was terminated amid internal organizing.

The settlement was approved in July by the NLRB, though the terms haven’t been revealed, according to Bloomberg. Google hasn’t replied to a request for comment from The Verge.

The NLRB has accused Google of violating labor law in firing Berland and four other workers in 2019 over organizing activities and is still battling Google over those accusations. One employee, Kathryn Spiers, was allegedly fired for creating an internal pop-up message reminding workers of their labor rights; Google said she didn’t have the proper approval for sending that code, according to Spiers. The other employees, including Berland, Sophie Waldman, Rebecca Rivers, and Paul Duke, say they were fired for participating in protected labor organizing; Google says they were let go for violating the company’s data security policies.