Fired Employees Sue Google For Breaching ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Part of Contract

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Three former Google employees who were fired by the company in 2019 sued Google on Monday, claiming that the company violated the part of its code of conduct that says "Don't Be Evil." "Don't Be Evil" was, famously, Google's motto for years. The company moved away from the motto after renaming itself Alphabet in 2015, but "Don't Be Evil" is still part of the company's official employee code of conduct: "Remember don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right -- speak up!," the final line of Google's code of conduct states. Employees are expected to sign the contract as a condition of their employment at Google. The new lawsuit, which alleges a breach of contract by Google, comes as part of drawn out legal proceedings between Google and three former employees who were fired within minutes of each other on November 25, 2019. Google claimed to fire the workers for leaking "confidential" information to the press, and because they engaged in "systematic searches" for information "outside the scope of their job." But the software engineers say they were fired for protesting Google's decision to sell cloud computing software to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which at the time was caging migrants and separating parents from children. They circulated a company-wide petition requesting Google affirm that it would not collaborate with CBP or ICE. The three workers, Rebecca Rivers, Paul Duke, and Sophie Waldman, are now suing Google for allegedly violating its own code of conduct as well as California public policy. California sued Trump in 2019 over the indefinite detention of migrant children. "The new complaint alleges that all three of the fired employees saw Google's collaboration with CBP under the Trump administration as 'evil' and had followed Google's mandate to call out unethical conduct by protesting the company's actions," the report adds. "It claims that Google never informed the fired employees that they had in any way violated the company's 'data security policy,' and that none of the employees had engaged in 'systematic searches.' They had only accessed documents that any full-time Google employee could have found on their own, court documents say."

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