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Google Employees Created Own Grievance Outlet

Bloomberg reported this week on a new employee-run message board that has popped up at Google. The newsletter is called “Yes, at Google” and it offers employees a new means by which they can voice their complaints about their workplace. It is curated by an unidentified group of employees. Google management is aware of the list that is sent out to subscribers once a week and about 20% of the Google workforce has subscribed.

Complaints submitted in the emails do not include names for the most part. Rather, it is a list of incidents. For example, one person recounted a manager who joked about raping of the female employees who he supervised; he was promoted after the person complained to HR. One employee who was new to Google (a “Noogler”) was invited to drinks with co-workers. When she arrived, only one male colleague was there and he advised her that she was expected to “sleep with everyone.” An email was sent in response to this submission asking for any more specific information because Google wanted to investigate. One story about a sexually offensive incident led to the investigation and the termination of the harassing “Googler.” Some of the information submitted made the writer uncomfortable, such as, “You know why the schools in Pleasanton are so good, right? Because of all the Chinese people.”

While there may be risks of amplifying discontent among employees, a management professor who commented in the Bloomberg article suggested that this collection of complaints could be a valuable resource for Google. It offers a look into sensitive topics that employees may feel uncomfortable sharing. The list also included choices and changes that have been made by Google that were appreciated.