My remarks at the town hall

Me speaking at the rally on November 22, 2019 at Google San Francisco
  • Put on indefinite admin leave without warning. And I mean literally without warning. My account was deactivated while I was working. I was only told hours later that I was being placed on admin leave.
  • The only word the company would use to tell me what was wrong was that it was for an “issue”.
  • The next thing I heard about my leave wasn’t from my manager, or from HR, it was from the press. That’s right, a company spokesperson told Bloomberg why I was on admin leave, something they still haven’t really told me. Is this really okay? We are constantly told that “leaks” are why leadership can’t have conversations with us, anymore, but here they are talking to the press about me before even talking to me. I’ve heard that Kent Walker, the chief legal officer, was repeating those same claims to you all inside the company. Kent’s usually a thoughtful guy, so I’m not sure what happened with this, because these words gave many the impression that I’m accused of leaking. But as I said before, that is not the case.
  • A few days later they contacted me to schedule my interrogation with Global Investigations. My friends and coworkers had been asking me if I’d heard anything, so I told them that I was to report to the office. In less than 24 hours they mobilized 20 people, many of whom I recognized: from our organizing meetings, from my team, from the cafe, to be there in person for my interrogation. They walked me to the room, and despite being asked to leave multiple times, they went inside the room and stayed until they were permitted to make a statement to my interrogators. Words cannot do justice to how much this meant to me. The company would not allow me a support person, would not allow me a representative, but here were my coworkers standing up for me. I will be forever grateful. But that’s what we expect from each other at Google, right? We look out for each other, here.
  • After my coworkers left, the meeting began. They call it an ‘interview’. They say they want to have a ‘conversation’. But then they try to trick you, they try to get you to say things that aren’t true. They tried to discourage me from taking notes. They even refused to let me use the bathroom.
  • They asked me about calendars. Every coworker who has talked to me about that has said the same thing: “calendars? I look at calendars every day!” Because of course we do. I told the investigators: there’s a link to calendar on every moma profile!
  • Why were we looking at calendars? Because we were concerned about the censorship of our workplace. We wanted to know what was going on, why does it feel like there’s an organized effort to censor Googlers? To keep us from talking about our concerns? And when I looked at these calendars, what I saw was really worrisome. It looks like exactly that: the company had an organized effort, with dozens of people, coordinating to spy on us all, track us all, censor us all. I could not believe it.
  • They asked me if I had seen a policy, but wouldn’t show me the policy. They wouldn’t tell me what it said. I asked where I would have found this policy and they didn’t even know! They had to go find it. I still don’t know what policy they were talking about. They asked me about a few other docs, too, pretty much the same way. It was bizarre.
  • Most concerning, they asked me about my coworkers: what is this group discussing concerns? Who are the people who came to support you? They wanted me to identify my coworkers who are working together with me to improve our workplace. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. And if you look at the NLRB notice, you can read it for yourself, “WE WILL NOT ask that you report other employees who are engaging in protected concerted activity”. It’s right there in the notice, but they did it anyway.
  • For two and a half hours.

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