Google sued by employee for confidentiality policies that 'muzzle' staff
From PC World: A product manager at Google has sued the company for its allegedly illegal confidentiality agreements, policies and practices that among other things prohibit employees from speaking even internally about illegal conduct and dangerous product defects for fear that such statements may be used in legal discovery during litigation or sought by the government.
The alleged policies, which are said to violate California laws, restrict employees' right to speak, work or whistle-blow, and include restrictions on speaking to the government, attorneys or the press about wrongdoing at Google or even “speaking to spouse or friends about whether they think their boss could do a better job,” according to a complaint Tuesday in the Superior Court of California for the city and county of San Francisco.
“The policies prohibit Googlers from using or disclosing all of the skills, knowledge, acquaintances, and overall experience at Google when working for a new employer," according to the complaint, which alleges that the company’s confidentiality policies are contrary to the California Labor Code, public policy and the interests of the state.
Google’s Global Investigation Team “also relies on ‘volunteers’ to report other employees who might have disclosed any information” about the company, according to the complaint, which paints a picture that is in sharp contrast to the glowing image one usually gets about Google's workplace culture and perks.
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