Google congractors are being forced to signed non-disclosure agreements that forbid them from reporting wrong doing or writing novels about Silicon Valley:
Google contract employees are alleging the company’s confidentiality agreements prevent them from a range of legal rights from whistleblowing to telling their parents how much they make, according to a recent court filing.
A California appeals court recently discussed a lawsuit accusing Alphabet‘s Google and one of its staffing firms, Adecco, of violating a number of California labor laws, including free speech, by requiring workers to sign extensive confidentiality agreements.
The contractors state they can’t talk about their wages, working conditions or colleagues, among other things, according to the court filing.
“As a practical matter, plaintiffs argue, they are forbidden even to write a novel about working in Silicon Valley or to reassure their parents they are making enough money to pay their bills, matters untethered to any legitimate need for confidentiality,” the filing states.
According to the lawsuit filing, contractors said the rules prevent them from “disclosing violations of state and federal law, either within Google to their managers or outside Google to private attorneys or government officials.”
It also stated they can’t talk about the skills they obtained at Google if they’re looking for a job at a competitor, and can’t recommend colleagues who might be receptive to a rival job offer.
Plaintiffs also allege Adecco has an illegal policy prohibiting temporary employees placed at Google from working directly for Google without Adecco’s permission, the filing states. They also allege policies illegally prevented them from speaking out about failures to pay overtime work hours.
“The defendant argued they communicate with government agencies regarding violations of law however, plaintiffs allege these clauses are meaningless and contrary to Google’s policies and practices of enforcement, which threaten employees for disclosing any information at all,” the filings read.
In the filing, dated Sept. 21, the appeals court reversed a lower court decision and said that plaintiffs could go forward with the case.
This is not a surprise. We already know that the biggest names in Silicon Valley including Google, colluded to depress wages of their employees.