Nest employee fired for posting memes on Facebook, files case against Nest and Google

A former Nest employee has approached the National Labor Relations Board and filed a complaint not only against Nest Labs but also Google.


Tony Fadell stepped down as the CEO of Nest. Now, didn't we see this coming? In the past few months, Alphabet's pet project, Nest, has been marred with not-so-great reports accusing the chief, Fadell of being a tyrant. The founder of Dropcam, the company acquired by Nest, Greg Duffy, called the selling of Dropcam a big mistake and clearly stated the not-so-friendly conditions created by Fadell. It was Fadell's blame-game remarks that compelled the ex-Dropcam chief to come out in support of his ex-employees.

Looks like he may have been right, at least a new case that has come to light says so. According to Business Insider, a former Nest employee has approached to the National Labor Relations Board and filed a complaint not only against Nest Labs but also Google. Filed on May 17, he puts forth allegations that Nest coerced the employee and then fired him for posting critical memes in a private Facebook group. "If the employee is successful, the NLRB could force Nest to rehire him and pay him back wages, and force Google to change its policies going forward," the report adds.

This piece of news comes at a time when Nest is trying to ward off all the bad press it has been getting. From its inability to build a new product to trashing good ideas, there have been a string of reports pointing fingers at Fadell. In fact, Fadell is also believed to have met the big bosses immediately to defend Nest, but ultimately he stepped down.

The employee who has been fired was a Project Manager at Nest and his lawyer now states that despite being one of the greatest places to work at, Google still has a lot more work to do. He also calls Fadell a bad leader who created an environment that was a total mess.

Here's what he wrote in a statement:

Silicon Valley’s richest and most powerful companies either do not know, or do not care, that employees have rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

Employees have the right to discuss their working conditions. Employees have the right to effectuate change by talking with co-workers, former co-workers, bosses, and even reporters about their working conditions. Employees have the right to use social media for these purposes. It is illegal to harass or fire employees for exercising rights guaranteed them by the United States Government.

It is important that employees know and understand these rights and are comfortable exercising them. For everyone's benefit, employees must hold a company accountable when it violates the federal right to mutual aid and protection.

Tony Fadell, the current CEO of Nest, is a bad leader. He has created a work environment that is a total mess. Nest employees want their work environment to be better. They desire a work environment as good as or even better than the Google work environment.

But even with Google regularly being identified as a great place to work, it still has work to do. Google must be a leader when it comes to recognizing and protecting the rights of employees working at its companies, and particularly at Nest.

Right now, under Fadell’s apparent direction, Nest employees are being mistreated or fired for exercising their protected rights to social sites like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.

Google must revise its confidentiality policies to make clear that employees have the right to discuss their working conditions with whomever they wish. Google must revise its code of conduct to make clear that complaining about their working conditions is not forbidden. Google, and especially Nest, must stop the witch hunt for employees who exercise their legal right to try and improve Nest’s working environment.

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