Google won’t honor medical leave in layoffs, outrages employees – Ars Technica

Would you believe Google’s mass layoffs from January are continuing? Google’s mishandling of its biggest round of layoffs to date has employees on edge, and they’re doing everything from walking out of work to sending angry letters to management.

First of all, European Googlers have just been laid off due to the January announcement. Reuters reports that more than 200 workers were laid off from the company’s Zurich, Switzerland branch this week. Employees at that office came out a second time to protest the move and even offered to take pay cuts or reduce working hours to avoid job cuts. Google’s layoffs appear to be motivated by a desire to appease the stock market, so it’s no surprise that these offers fell on deaf ears.

Many of the Swiss workers who walked off the job in protest are members of the IT workers’ union Syndicom, and a spokesperson for the union told Reuters: “Our Google Zurich members and all employees who join the strike are doing show solidarity with those laid off. They are embarrassed by the non-transparent nature of the layoffs and are particularly disappointed that Google is laying off workers at a time when the company is making billions in profits each year.”

Current and former employees believe Google is being cruel in how it treats employees who were on medical or parental leave during the layoffs. CNBC reports that Google has decided not to honor pre-approved furloughs for terminated employees. Some Googlers have formed a group called “Laid off on Leave,” which is trying to get Google to meet previously agreed deadlines for employees going through major life changes.

Ensuring Google sticks to its previous furlough agreements isn’t just about employees getting paid when they have medical or family issues; it’s also about having ongoing medical care when they need it most. As part of Google’s (apparently abandoned) plan to provide employees with every perk imaginable, the company has on-site medical facilities that many employees use.

While employee severance packages may come with a few extra months of health insurance, being laid off means instantly losing access to Google’s facilities. If that’s where a fired Googler’s primary care doctor works, that person is out of luck, and some employees have told CNBC they’ve lost access to their doctors the second the second they’re fired. severance email arrived. Employees on leave also have a lot to do. A former Googler, Kate Howells, said she was released by Google from her hospital bed shortly after giving birth. She worked in the company for nine years.

The group Laid off on Leave points out that Google is not living up to the image it promotes to the world, stating: “Google is currently showcasing its workplace commitments and participation in History Month of women through various product and service campaigns. We agree with you: it is very important recognize the challenges that still disproportionately affect women in the workplace.

Another group of Googlers posted an open letter to CEO Sundar Pichai asking the company to continue employing people while on sick leave, freeze new hires during the layoff process, and prioritize rehiring employees. dismissed in the future. The letter also asks Google to ensure that the layoffs do not discriminate against anyone and that the company protects employees facing humanitarian crises by not firing employees with visas from Ukraine or Russia. Over 1,300 Googlers have signed the letter so far.

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