Google reaches $27 million settlement in case that sparked employee activism in tech

December 1, 2023

Google has reached a $27 million settlement with employees who accused the tech giant of unfair labor practices, setting a record for the largest agreement of its kind, according to California state court documents that haven’t been previously reported.

The 2016 lawsuit was among the first glimpses of employee activism that swept through the tech industry over the past seven years. It stemmed from the termination of a worker at Google-owned Nest, who was fired for posting complaints about the company’s management on Facebook.

In the years that followed, Google, Facebook, Netflix and others faced employee walkouts, whistleblowers, and public letters, which led to firings, town halls, and revamped policies as tech companies grappled with how to contend with increasingly vocal staff.