More bad news for laid-off Google employees, who may not be paid for approved maternity or medical leave

Google fired 6% of its total employees in January this year. According to a CNBC report, the company cannot pay its e-staffers for paid maternity and medical leave. According to the report, more than 100 fired Google employees have created a group called ‘Vacation on Vacation’.

The group includes people who were on maternity leave, child bonding leave, carer leave, medical leave and personal leave at the time of the layoff. They are collectively asking the organization to pay for pre-approved weeks and months of vacation prior to the layoff.

The fired employees have sent letters to Google executives, including CEO Sundar Pichai and Chief People Officer Fiona Ciccioni, on three separate occasions. The most recent was sent on March 9. However, no reply has been received to any letter.

Meanwhile, Google employees have written an open letter to Pichai demanding better handling of the layoffs. The letter has been signed by over 1,400 workers.

“The implications of Alphabet’s decision to reduce its workforce are global. Nowhere has the voice of workers been adequately considered, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone. We are thus coming together to be heard around the world,” the letter said.

Google employees listed five ‘asks’ in the letter. These

1) Stop all new hiring during the layoff process. Ask for voluntary redundancies and voluntary reduction of working hours before the first mandatory layoffs. Allow employee ‘rotation’ to avoid unnecessary redundancy.

2) Prioritize any Alphabet employees who were recently laid off. Prioritize internal transfer options, prioritize access to jobs without the need for re-interviews, and agree to a fair severance package.

3) Protect our colleagues from countries with active conflict or humanitarian crisis (such as Ukraine, Russia, etc.). Do not terminate employment when this would adversely affect visas, which may require workers to return to unsafe or unstable countries. Provide additional support to these and to workers at risk of losing a residence permit: assist with job searches – internal and external – and provide adequate gardening leave.

4) Respect scheduled leave (maternity, child bonding, carer and bereavement) and do not give notice until the leave is over. Employees given notice will be informed in person and given an opportunity to say goodbye to their co-workers.

5) Ensure that there will be no discriminatory impact on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic identity, race, veteran status, religion and disability.

The letter ends by saying: “Our company has long supported its commitment to do right by its users and workers, and these commitments show Alphabet abiding by the last line of its code of conduct: Don’t be evil.” . We know that it is within your means and your ability.”

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