Googlers espousing left-wing views are debating, using an internal discussion group, what do to with a Republican colleague who recently let his views about working conditions in the tech behemoth be publicly know, Breitbart is reporting citing leaked logs that it has had exclusive access to.
The colleague in question is software engineer Mike Wacker, who earlier took to Medium to protest what he said were adversarial working conditions and “call-outs” made by liberal employees against conservatives and their causes. In the post, he mentions conservative Kay Coles James, a member of Google's recently established and quickly dissolved AI Advisory Council, as an example of his fellow Google employees going after public figures they disagree with.
To prove his point, Wacker posted messages exchanged on closed internal forums, but left out the names of their authors. And publicly complaining about working conditions is not an outlawed practice in the US, Breitbart observes: this is a right afforded to workers by the National Labor Relations Act, confirmed recently by the National Labor Relations Board that said this right extends to social media.
After Wacker's Medium post, a separate leak occurred exposing messages form the Transparency and Ethics group concerning James.
Wacker is now being blamed, without evidence thus far, for a leak that showed Googlers branding James, an African American who heads the Heritage Foundation, as “a bigot with exterminationist views.”
Ironically, while the accused leaker has been removed from the group in question – the latest leak came from the same discussion forum, this time revealing details of conversations in the aftermath of the decision.
The conversations show that participants want “the leaker from the group” to be removed from Google as well, arguing that failing to fire him would set a negative precedent. But others appeared aware that there would be no legal ground to sack Wacker – and that the decision might come back to haunt the company in the form of a discrimination or unfair dismissal lawsuit.
Another worry is that sacking the engineer without any evidence that he was in fact the leaker, could end up “serving the propaganda purpose of establishing further that Google is discriminatory against conservative voices.”
But one Google employee taking part in the conversation “insisted that the company's leadership was ‘looking into' what to do with Wacker,” Breitbart said.