Google broke labor law by retaliating against workers, federal agency alleges

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Laurence Berland, who was fired from Google, at a rally last year.


James Martin/CNET

A federal agency on Wednesday alleged that Google broke US labor laws by surveilling, interrogating and firing employees who organized protests against the search giant, according to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board.

The filing addresses the firings Google workers including Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers, who were terminated by the search giant last year after the company said they had violated its internal policies. The NLRB complaint, however, alleges some of those policies are unlawful and that Google illegally questioned its employees about “protected concerted activities.”

Google on Wednesday defended the action it took against employees. “We strongly support the rights our employees have in the workplace, and open discussion and respectful debate have

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Google broke US labor law by spying on and firing workers, complaint alleges

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Laurence Berland, who was fired from Google, at a rally last year.


James Martin/CNET

The National Labor Relations Board alleges Google broke US labor laws by surveilling and then firing employees who organized protests against the search giant, according to the Worker Agency, an advocacy firm that works on labor campaigns. 

The complaint by the NLRB, which was filed Wednesday, addresses the firings of Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers, the Worker Agency said. The pair were terminated by Google last year after the search giant said they had violated its policies. 

Some of those policies are unlawful, according to the NLRB complaint, which alleges Google has illegally interrogated and suspended workers. Details of the complaint were related by the Worker Agency, which worked with Berland, Spiers and Laurie Burgess, legal counsel

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Broke your smartphone? ‘Right to repair’ rules just took another step forward

‘Right to repair’ calls for more transparency around the lifespan of tech products and better availability of repair instructions.

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Europe has taken a significant step towards introducing better device repair rules for consumers.

Image: iStock/ golubovy

The European Parliament has voted in favor of “right to repair” rules for Europe that would make it easier for consumers to repair their own devices, while also cracking down on practices used by manufacturers to shorten the lifespan of their products.

The European Commission announced plans for new “right to repair” rules covering smartphones, tablets and laptops in March 2021 as part of wider efforts to tackle e-waste and help Europe on its path to becoming climate-neutral by 2050.

The proposal seeks to make repairs more appealing and easier to access by consumers, either by extending guarantees from manufacturers, providing guarantees for replaced parts, or by providing better access to information on device

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