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Would you believe that Google has continued with its January round of huge layoffs?
Employees are upset over Google’s alleged poor handling of its largest round of layoffs ever, and they are taking various actions, such as walking out on the job and sending irate emails to management.
To start, Google employees in Europe are only now being let go as a result of the January announcement. Reuters says that this week, more than 200 employees were let go from the company’s Zurich, Switzerland, location. The staff at that office protested the decision by leaving the building a second time, and some even offered to take salary cuts or shorten their shifts in an effort to stop the job cutbacks. But it’s not surprising that these proposals were ignored given that Google’s layoffs appear motivated by a desire to appease the stock market.
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The IT workers’ union Syndicom represents a large portion of the Swiss employees who left their jobs in protest, and a representative for the union told Reuters, “Our members at Google Zurich and all employees joining the walkout are showing solidarity with those laid off. They are bothered by the non-transparent nature of the layoffs and are especially disappointed that Google is laying off workers at a time when the company is making billions in profit every year.”
The treatment of employees who were on medical or parental leave during the layoffs, according to current and former employees, is brutal. According to CNBC, Google has chosen not to respect pre-approved leave for fired employees. Google employees who are going through significant life transitions have organized an organization called “Laid off on Leave” in an effort to get Google to adhere to previously established timetables.
Ensuring Google abides by past leave agreements is important not only so that workers are compensated for time off due to family or medical emergencies, but also so that they can receive ongoing medical treatment when they do. Many employees take advantage of Google’s on-site medical facilities, which are part of the company’s (now obviously abandoned) aim to provide workers with every amenity possible.
Being fired results in an immediate loss of access to Google’s facilities, despite the fact that severance settlements may include an additional few months of health insurance. If a laid-off Google worker has a primary care doctor there, they are out of luck, and some employees told CNBC they lost access to their doctors as soon as the layoff memo arrived. The burdens facing absent employees are great as well. From her hospital bed shortly after giving birth, one former Google employee, Kate Howells, claimed that she was fired. Nine years were spent by her at the company.
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According to the Laid off on Leave group, Google is now displaying its workplace commitments and its participation in Women’s History Month through numerous products and services promotions. Yet, Google does not live up to the picture it projects to the public. Its concurs with you that it’s critical to acknowledge the challenges that continue to disproportionately affect women in the workplace.
Another group of Google employees sent an open letter to CEO Sundar Pichai requesting that the business continue to employ people while they are on medical leave, freeze new recruits throughout the layoff process, and give laid-off workers priority when hiring in the future. In addition, Google is urged in the letter to prevent any form of discrimination in its hiring practices and to shield its workers from humanitarian crises by refraining from terminating Russian or Ukrainian nationals with valid visas. Already, more than 1,300 Google employees have signed the letter.