A former Nest Labs manager was fired recently for using social media to post internal communications. Nest Labs, which makes smart devices for the home, is owned by Google, who is the defendant in the suit.
Google claims that the manager’s sharing of memes created by fellow employees on Facebook was grounds for dismissal, largely because the memes contained product development leaks. The fact that the confidential info got into the hands of the media caused even further discomfort on the part of Google.
While other employees were reportedly questioned, the male manager was the only individual fired.
Chris Baker, the manager’s lawyer has argued that Google’s dismissal of his client was not justified in that national labor laws allow employees the right to organize and protect themselves through sharing information with the press or any other outsiders.
In a statement, Baker expressed his belief that employees should be able to use social media to communicate about “working conditions with whomever they wish,” and that Google needs to revise its code of conduct to reflect the freedom to do so.
Per those who have seen the agreement, it is believed that Google’s confidentiality agreement doesn’t pose any concrete restrictions on discussing working conditions.
This case will be predicated upon whether the memes posted, which were critical of Nest’s CEO, are considered protected under Google’s policies.