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3 former Google employees sue the company for violating its own code of conduct ‘don’t be evil’

Posted: Dec 2, 2021 13:06 GMT

They allege that they were fired for complying with their contractual obligation to speak up if they saw Google breaking their rules.

Three former Google employees have filed a joint lawsuit against the tech giant in federal court in California, alleging that the company allegedly unlawfully fired them, violating its own ‘don’t be evil’ code of conduct.

According to the complaint, Rebecca Rivers, Paul Duke and Sophie Waldman began working for the company between 2011 and 2019. ‘Do not be evil‘was the unofficial motto of the code of conduct that Google provided its employees. In 2018 it was reported that said slogan was eliminated from the corporate document, but in an updated version, from September 2020, remember your staff: “Don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think is not right, speak up!”

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The plaintiffs, software engineers, were fired in November 2019, and despite the fact that the slogan had previously been removed from the code of conduct, that year it would still have remained in force in the clauses of the documents on the standards and requirements of the giant technology that the engineers signed along with the employment contract.

The court document shows the section on not being evil: “‘Don’t be evil’, is based on the recognition that everything we do in relation to our work at Google will be measured and must be measured against the highest standards Possible Ethical Business Conduct, “describes the lawsuit.

“Don’t be quiet”

“So, read the code and follow it, always keeping in mind that each of us has the responsibility staff to adhere to and encourage other Google employees to incorporate the principles of the code into our work. And if you have a question or ever think that one of your coworkers or the company may not be complying with our commitment, do not remain silent “, reads the company’s guideline.

All three accuse the company of firing them “for adhering” to these guidelines and demand a economic compensation not specified for damages.


Google, for its part, claims that the termination of its contracts occurred after leak confidential information to the press, as well as for conducting “systematic searches” of documents “outside their scope of work.” The engineers, for their part, point out that his dismissal occurred for protesting against a controversial contract of cloud computing between the tech giant and US Customs and Border Protection.

Former employees considered that collaboration as “evil” and they followed the principles present in the code of conduct. In a statement, they stated that “Google realized that ‘don’t be evil’ it was costing him money and pushing workers to organize. “The company” fired employees who were following the motto, “rather than admit that their stance had changed, they argue.

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Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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