Google reaches $27 mn settlement over unfair practices allegations

The 2016 lawsuit highlighted early tech industry employee activism, and originated after a worker was fired for criticising the management on social media

Representative image (Photo: DW)
Representative image (Photo: DW)


Tech giant Google has reached a $27 million settlement with employees who accused it of unfair labour practices, according to media reports. A report in Semafor, which looked into California state court documents, says this is a record for an agreement of its kind.

The Google case was filed under California’s Private Attorneys General Act. “The 2016 lawsuit was among the first glimpses of employee activism that swept through the tech industry over the past seven years,” the report said late on Friday.

Most of the settlement, which is still subject to court approval, will go to the state, with around 100,000 Google employees getting around $20 to $70 each, depending on how long they’ve worked at the company.

“The purpose of the act is to punish the companies, rather than compensate employees, the report said.

“While we strongly believe in the legitimacy of our policies, after nearly eight years of litigation, Google decided that resolution of the matter, without any admission of wrongdoing, is in the best interest of everyone,” a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying.

The lawsuit was filed after the termination of a worker at Google-owned Nest — a line of smart home products including speakers, displays, streaming devices, thermostats, smoke detectors, routers and security systems — who was fired for posting complaints about the company’s management on Facebook.

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