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After an ex-Yelp employee lost her job for complaining to the CEO about low pay, a project manager was allegedly fired for badmouthing his boss.
According to reports from CNBC, the ex-project manager had been hired by Nest Lab, a subsidiary of Google, and was terminated from his job after criticising his CEO, Tony Fadell.
Since his termination, he has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the United States against both Nest Labs and Google.
If the employee wins the case, the NLRB could force Nest to rehire him and pay him back wages and force Google to change its policies going forward.
The project manager filed the complaint on May 17, and included several serious allegations, such as that Nest fired him for posting content critical of his employer on a private Facebook group.
The former Nest employee’s lawyer wrote in a statement:
“Tony Fadell, the current CEO of Nest, is a bad leader. He has created a work environment that is a total mess. Nest employees want their work environment to be better. They desire a work environment as good as or even better than the Google work environment.”
“Right now, under Fadell’s apparent direction, Nest employees are being mistreated or fired for exercising their protected rights to social sites like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.”
Nest reportedly fired the employee because he was posting memes critical of Fadell to a private Facebook group.
Technology news website Recode has published some of the brutal memes Googlers created about Tony Fadell and Nest.
In a security investigation, the project manager told investigators that he didn’t leak the memes to Recode or other reporters, but he had been posting different memes to Facebook.
According to his lawyers, however, firing employees for sharing information on Facebook violates the law.
Chris Baker, the lawyer representing the former Nest manager, is arguing that Google’s actions violate national labor laws entitling employees rights to organise and protect themselves by sharing information to outsiders and the press, CNBC reports.
He wrote briefly about the complaint, referring to it as the “Nest Witch Hunt Case”:
“Employees have the right to discuss their working conditions. Employees have the right to effectuate change by talking with co-workers, former co-workers, bosses, and even reporters about their working conditions. Employees have the right to use social media for these purposes.
Google must revise its confidentiality policies to make clear that employees have the right to discuss their working conditions with whomever they wish. Google must revise its code of conduct to make clear that complaining about their working conditions is not forbidden. Google, and especially Nest, must stop the witch hunt for employees who exercise their legal right to try and improve Nest’s working environment.”
Tony Fadell had just announced last week that he will be resigning from his job.
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