Google has issued a new set of guidelines for its employees. Among other things that are banned Google employees will not be allowed to have raging debate on politics or the latest news story.
The new version includes language specifically aimed at a political discussion in the workplace, a prohibition that has some worried that the company is cracking down on internal activism.
While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not the new guidelines read. “Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics.”
The guidelines direct Googlers to be respectful in all internal communications, with prohibitions against trolling or blanket statements against groups of people that make fellow employees unwelcome. Employees are being told to be responsible and whatever they might say they would be accountable for them.
Google said the new guidelines were focused on maintaining user trust. Working at Google comes with tremendous responsibility, a Google representative said in a statement. “It’s critical that we honour that trust and uphold the integrity of our products and services. The guidelines are official policy and apply when employees are communicating in the workplace.”
The new guidelines could be used against employee activists, many of whom continue to have moral concerns about Google’s work with US immigration agencies. “Following years of organizing inside Google, the bosses are trying to stop workers from discussing workplace issues,” one former Googler said after the guidelines were posted. “The idea that discussion over whether Google does business with CBP and ICE is not related to their work is preposterous.”
Further according to the guidelines Googlers should speak up when they feel something isn’t right and we provide ample ways for Googlers to use their voice to promote change and also employee protections under US labor laws, which have become particularly relevant in the wake of Google’s walkout in November. .. Still, many whistleblowers see the new guidelines as an inevitable response to the recent wave of internal activism.