* Restrict the Googlers’ right to speak, right to work, and right to whistle-blow.
* Prohibit Googlers from speaking plainly – even internally – about illegal conduct or dangerous product defects, because such statements might one day be subject to discovery in litigation or sought by the government.
* Prohibit Googlers from telling a potential employer how much money they make, or what work they performed, when searching for a different job.
* Prohibit Googlers from using or disclosing all of the skills knowledge, acquaintances, and overall experience at Google when working for a new employer.
* Prohibit Googlers from speaking to the government, attorneys, or the press about wrongdoing at Google.
* The policies even prohibit Googlers from speaking to their spouse or friends about whether they think their boss could do a better job.
There were alleged training practices, policies, and documents outlining these offenses and they are written up pretty plainly in the suit itself. Makes for better, more detailed reading, than this Engadget piece.
 - http://www.bakerlp.com/Google-Blackout-Case/2016-12-19-PAGA-...
Looks like a revolving door hire, and if the suit is correct, then it has to cost Google a huge fine.
What is GOogle hiding they want a strong-arming Security Service Agent comfortable with making illegal threats running their grunt task force?
Sound like a total dick. Glad this wasn't a bar in Florida where you can conceal carry. Dude comes to some establishment and threatens employees and owner with criminal prosecution and filing criminal charges, then when they want to return the phone to the police, he would rather have it returned to them...
What a dick.
this guy apparently was being an all-out, stereotypical SV dickhead, blatantly threatening a mere bartender (Barton) with criminal charges ("like I was in any trouble", as Barton says) -- just so he could save his own ass back at the Googleplex.
That certainly contradicts several of those points.
The evidence and facts brought up are:
1) A quote from his offer letter.
2) The confidentiality agreement.
3) A Code of Conduct policy for "internal purposes only."
4) Data Classification Guidelines.
6) Employee Communication Policy.
7) Training programs including one called "You Said What?"
8) "Prepare to leave Google" policy.
9) "Exit Certification" note upon termination.
10) A "Global Investigations Team" led by Brian Katz.
12) Quotes from all hands meetings.
13) Alleged amendment of a policy in response to his letter to Labor Workforce and Development Agency violations.
And certainly claimed Legal Violation #2 also falls flat when you consider that these are trade secrets protected by the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and leaking trade secrets is illegal.
#3 and #4 is contradicted by the presence of the Protected Activity section in the same confidentiality agreement, which permit such activity.
I'm not about to comb through supporting documents just to disprove the rest of the claims; we have lawyers whose job is to do that. But since I can relatively easily find contradictions between what I have readily available and what the lawsuit is asserting, I have doubts that the underlying lawsuit really holds much weight.
15) Lawyers telling employees to STFU on discussion threads about legal problems in the news
We have people who started a spreadsheet where googlers can post their salary/total comp and they are still working at google.
"Former Google employee Erica Baker revealed in a flurry of messages on Twitter Friday that she faced retaliation from management after compiling a spreadsheet of employee salaries."
Try posting that spreadsheet on the internet and see what happens.
I have a hard time believing Google lawyers would put something like this in writing for employees to sign...
Most of those bullet points seem completely reasonable.
Google instructs employees in its training programs to do the following:
“Don’t send an e-mail that says ‘I think we broke the law’ or ‘I think we violated this contract.’”
Yeah, that should be common sense, but there might be some talented yet socially-dumb engineers who need to be explicitly told that. Loose lips sink ships!
The only thing I find objectionable is the arbitration clause in the employment contract. That should be made illegal.
How is it acceptable for a company to encourage employees to hide bad (or illegal) behavior ?
For example "I bet we'll get boatloads of patent disputes from Samsung if we get the next Nexus phone made by LG", said by someone on the Google search team who is just speculating based on public news reports.
Later in court, Samsung could use that as evidence that someone in the company had knowledge of violating patents (which increases damages 3x).
So the company is not saying, "Don't raise concerns about illegality." They're saying, "Don't raise them to your manager, but instead to the legal team."
Large companies tend to set up internal processes for such complaints to ensure that they go to the right people (i.e. your manager is probably not the right person anyway) and that they remain legally privileged when possible.
Based on the news reports (and not the content of the suit), it seems to me the filer is not aware of what is common (and frankly not worrisome) behavior at large companies. People get fired for leaking product details; legal discussions should happen with lawyers; companies commonly have contracts prohibiting discussion of wages but those contracts are usually unenforceable because in the US labor relations regulations actually protect such actions from retribution.
If an employee sees a violation of criminal law, does reporting it to his supervisor discharge any additional legal obligation to report it to law enforcement?
Loose lips also sink Axis ships.