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Google fires employee, places two on leave as internal tensions grow

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  • Google has fired one employee and put two more on leave for allegedly leaking company information to media, according to Bloomberg.
  • The suspensions have fueled fears among Googlers that management is retaliating against employees.
  • Employees had recently raised concerns over a new calendar tool that reported staffers who organized large events.
  • Google said the employees were placed on leave for improperly accessing and sharing documents and for tracking employees’ calendars.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google has fired one employee and put another two on leave for allegedly violating company policies, according to a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday that was confirmed to Business Insider by a Google spokesperson.

According to the company, one of the employees placed on leave had improperly accessed a wide range of documents unrelated to their job. The other had tracked the calendars of employees on the communications, human resources and community platforms teams, making them feel unsafe, Google said.

The documents related to an internal tool Google recently installed on employees’ web browsers that tracks and reports efforts to organize large gatherings. Employees had raised concerns about the tool, which according to an internal memo, monitors staff calendars and reports employees who attempt to create events with more than 100 invitees or 10 rooms.

It was not clear whether Google has evidence of the workers providing proprietary internal information to the media, and if so, which news publications were involved, or if the company simply suspected the individuals of leaking because of their internal actions.

Google and parent company Alphabet have been roiled by employee protests during the past year, including a walkout over the company’s handling of executives accused of sexual misconduct, as well as protests over Google’s work with the US military.

The firing and employee suspensions have been the subject of intense discussion within the company in recent weeks, as employees worry that Google — which has traditionally been known for its open and transparent culture — is attempting to crack down on dissent by punishing those who openly disagree with management.

Multiple employees have left Google in the past several months in frustration after trying to organize workers in protest of various company policies, business decisions and partnerships, evidence of a growing divide between management and rank-and-file employees as Google continues to limit employees’ ability to communicate and organize across the company.

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