Google has fired an employee for leaking and sharing names and personal details of staffers to the media. Additionally, it has placed two other employees on leave for violation of company policies.
The move comes amidst rising tension between employees and management. Workers have been unhappy with the way the management has dealt with sexual harassment cases. Last year, Google employees worldwide staged a walkout in protest of this.
The search giant is currently investigating the employees who were placed on leave. A Google spokeswoman said that one of the employees looked for and shared confidential documents that were beyond the scope of their job. These documents relate to a new Chrome tool that Google has made mandatory for workers to install on their computers.
Many employees have raised concerns about this tool as they believe it is being used by the management to spy on them. The tool automatically reports employees that create calendar meetings with more than 100 people or 10 rooms.
The Google spokesperson said that the tool was aimed at keeping calendar spam in check; she said that the person was put on leave for accessing a wide range of company documents and not for opening or accessing just one file.
The second employee was put on leave for tracking individual calendars of the staff working in human resources, communications teams, and community platforms. As per the Google spokeswoman, this tracking made the staff in these departments feel unsafe.
Both employees had taken part in activism activities against Google's management for poorly handling sexual harassment cases as well as for working on projects like a censored version of the search engine for China.
The investigation against them has angered many employees inside the company as they believe Google is punishing them for protesting against the management. They now believe that the work culture of Google is no longer as open as it was before.
Previously, Google employees could access any of the company's internal documents on any of the projects. However, in a bid to reduce leaks to the media, Google's management cut down access to documents to thousands of contractors and other employees. Instead, access is now provided to employees or a group on a "need-to-know" basis.