scorecard
  1. Home
  2. tech
  3. news
  4. Read Google's memo warning employees to 'think again'

Read Google's memo warning employees to 'think again'

Ana Altchek   

Read Google's memo warning employees to 'think again'
  • Google fired 28 employees involved in protests against a $1.2 billion cloud contract with Israel.
  • The company warned employees that disruptive behavior won't be tolerated.

Google issued a warning to any employees considering participating in any future sit-in protests within the company's offices: "Think again."

Google fired 28 employees on Wednesday following in-office protests against the company's $1.2 billion contract with Israel.

The company sent an internal memo Wednesday evening, reviewed by Business Insider, explaining its course of action and telling employees to rethink violating its policies when demonstrating.

"If you're one of the few who are tempted to think we're going to overlook conduct that violates our policies, think again," Google said in the memo. "The company takes this extremely seriously."

The protests against Google's Project Nimbus contract, which supplies cloud computing services to Israel's government and military, took place outside Google offices in New York City, Sunnyvale, and Seattle, as well as inside the NYC and Sunnyvale locations, when a number of employees staged a sit-in.

Google placed the employees involved in the in-office protests under investigation and revoked their access to its systems. From that group, five were arrested in Sunnyvale and accused of trespassing, and four were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing in New York City.

Google said in the memo the behavior violated multiple policies, including its code of conduct and policy on harassment, discrimination, retaliation, standards of conduct, and workplace concerns.

"They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers," Google said in the internal memo. "Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened."

According to one of the arrested employees in New York City, 23-year-old Hasan Ibraheem, the protest started around noon on Tuesday. The group of employees sat in the office and gave chants and speeches every 15 to 20 minutes until about 6 p.m.

The group was asked to leave multiple times, but Ibraheem said at the time, he viewed the requests as "empty threats." After losing access to the company's systems and refusing to leave, the police arrested the remaining group at 9:30 p.m.

Google said it will continue to investigate and take action as needed.

"Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it," Google said in the memo.

Google added that it will continue to use its policies to take action against disruptive behavior, which may include termination. The company also said employees should expect to hear more from leaders about standards of behavior and discourse in the workplace.

Google employees have generated headlines in the past for organizing protests, ranging from walkouts protesting sexual misconduct at the company to petitions urging Google CEO Sundar Pichai to stop providing AI tech to US military drones.

Most recently, Google fired one employee for disrupting a presentation in New York by the company's head of Google Israel.

Read the full memo below:

Googlers,

You may have seen reports of protests at some of our offices yesterday. Unfortunately, a number of employees brought the event into our buildings in New York and Sunnyvale. They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers. Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened. We placed employees involved under investigation and cut their access to our systems. Those who refused to leave were arrested by law enforcement and removed from our offices.

Following investigation, today we terminated the employment of twenty-eight employees found to be involved. We will continue to investigate and take action as needed.

Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it. It clearly violates multiple policies that all employees must adhere to – including our Code of Conduct and Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, Standards of Conduct, and Workplace Concerns.

We are a place of business and every Googler is expected to read our policies and apply them to how they conduct themselves and communicate in our workplace. The overwhelming majority of our employees do the right thing. If you're one of the few who are tempted to think we're going to overlook conduct that violates our policies, think again. The company takes this extremely seriously, and we will continue to apply our longstanding policies to take action against disruptive behavior – up to and including termination.

You should expect to hear more from leaders about standards of behavior and discourse in the workplace.

Chris


Popular Right Now




Advertisement