San Francisco (AFP)
Google pledged Thursday to remind employees that they are free to express their views on "labor issues" under an agreement with a government agency investigating the internet giant.
Google will recall their rights to its employees on its intranet and will post messages in the offices of its headquarters in Silicon Valley, according to the terms of the agreement with the US National Labor Relations Board.
The agreement comes after a complaint by an engineer who claimed to have been fired because of his conservative views.
"Under this agreement, we have agreed to post notices to remind our employees of their rights," said a spokeswoman for Google, saying they would stay in place for 60 days.
Google ensures that this agreement does not make "mention of political activity" and that it maintains its policy, recalled last month, to encourage employees to stay away from partisan debates at work.
This engineer, Kevin Cernekee, considered himself a victim of an environment hostile to conservatives at Google. He and another employee, who wished to remain anonymous, had lodged a complaint.
The internet giant says it was not his political views that cost him his job.
According to media reports, Cernekee had links to white nationalists and was fired for violating company rules, including using his own device to download internal documents.
US President Donald Trump, who cited his case by criticizing Google, repeatedly accused the subsidiary of Alphabet of being prejudiced against him and his supporters, without proving it, accusations that Google rejects.
After long encouraging people to give their opinion, Google asked employees last month to focus on their work rather than political debates with their colleagues.
New guidelines now recommend that they be moderate, thoughtful and respectful in their conversations, especially in conversation forums.
In recent years, employees have taken Google to work on issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace and have called on it not to participate in bidding for US agencies in the field of defense or of immigration.
© 2019 AFP