Are companies censoring employees prevent whistleblowing?
A new lawsuit against Google raises the question, are companies censoring employees to prevent whistleblowing?
In the lawsuit against Google, the plaintiff, an anonymous employee alleged that Google's confidentiality policies were unlawful. According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the lawsuit's main allegations is that Google employees are prohibited from, "speaking to the government, attorneys, or the press about wrongdoing at Google."
While many companies have policies that restrict their employee's from speaking with the media, it's unclear how much restriction is unlawful. Can companies fire employee employees who leak information? And can, companies warn employees that they will be fired if they speak to the media about their company and employment?
What is whistleblowing? And are there protections?
Whistleblowing occurs when an employee reports their employer for misconduct or unlawful behavior. Different states have different laws pertaining to whistleblowing. In California, whistleblowers are protected against retaliation from an employer.
This lawsuit may better outline what information can be shared and with whom as well as showing whether or not companies who have policies restricting their employees from speaking to any press are deterring employees from whistleblowing.