Retaliation at Google

Sharing stories from Google employees.

Google Walkout For Real Change
3 min readApr 29, 2019
AP Photo/Noah Berger

Over the last few days, we’ve been helping unmask Google’s culture of retaliation. Here are just a handful of the chilling stories which have been shared with us.

Ethics & Compliance aren’t always so ethical

When I reported something unethical happening at Google, Employee Relations fudged data to protect Google.

Eventually, Ethics & Compliance sent my HRBP over who ended up delivering a veiled threat that if I continue pursuing this my immigration status would be at risk. Fortunately, I was no longer dependent on Google for my immigration status but the case highlights how E&C and HR are leveraging personal vulnerabilities of Googlers to quash concerns, protect abusers and retaliate against those who speak out.

Retaliated against for defending a mother who reports to me. HR dismissed it as “poor behavior.”

When my manager started repeatedly saying inappropriate things about a mother who reported to me (.e.g she’s probably trying to get pregnant again and is super emotional and hard to work with then pregnant) I reported the behavior to HR.

HR shared my concerns directly with my manager, who immediately started retaliating me by, among other things, immediately interviewing people to replace me. When I reported the retaliation and asked for an investigation to occur, HR acknowledged my manager’s “poor behavior” but said an investigation wasn’t necessary because “poor behavior” didn’t constitute retaliation.

My retaliators were punished with “coaching”

I reported my tech lead to my manager for sexual harassment, but my manager thought I was “overreacting.” I then reported my manager, as I could no longer feel comfortable working with this colleague every day while no action was being taken. The tech lead provided unsolicited feedback in my perf that took four months for the perf team to remove. The manager boxed me out and denied my promotion nomination by my peers. Eventually HR found there was retaliation but simply offered “coaching” to the teach lead and manager. I was asked to accept this. I refused. No additional actions were taken. They both still work at Google.

Same performance. Same tenure. No promotion.

My first two years at Google I was not promoted due to bias. While my peer was promoted with the same ratings and same tenure, I was not. When I asked my manager about this I was told that I was being an “emotional woman.” After escalated to HR, despite being responded to with a “not too positive” attitude, I received the promotion.

After my promotion I was assigned to a new manager. From then on I have consistently received lower ratings and lower salary. I am currently in the same situation as before where my male colleague got promoted last cycle and I haven’t despite us being at the same rating. It’s impossible to prove retaliation and my colleagues just keep telling me to “stay quiet and do your job. Speaking out will just make things worse.”

How is this happening at Google?



Google Walkout For Real Change

#GoogleWalkout 11/1 11:10am to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace that doesn’t work for everyone. Views ≠ Google.