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US labor board finds Google violated labor laws, spied on fired workers

In a complaint filed Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board said Google illegally surveilled and fired two employees, Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers, as part of its effort to crack down on labor organizing.

After speaking critically about Google at a worker rally last year, Berland was fired along with several colleagues. Google said Berland had violated company policies when he accessed the open calendars of Google executives who he believed to be meeting with anti-organizing consultants. Spiers was also fired last year after she built a pop-up notification for Google employees who visited the website of an anti-union organization that Google was reportedly working with.

In a statement on Twitter, Berland called the board's complaint "vindicating." Spiers also applauded the decision, tweeting, "Workers must unite to tackle the power of the tech giants, it's the only way to hold them accountable."

Big Tech benefits from Biden’s sweeping immigration actions

Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai praised President Biden's immigration actions, which read like a tech industry wishlist.

Newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden signed two immigration-related executive orders on Wednesday.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Immediately after being sworn in as president Wednesday, Joe Biden signed two pro-immigration executive orders and delivered an immigration bill to Congress that reads like a tech industry wishlist. The move drew enthusiastic praise from tech leaders, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

President Biden nullified several of former-President Trump's most hawkish immigration policies. His executive orders reversed the so-called "Muslim ban" and instructed the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which the Trump administration had sought to end. He also sent an expansive immigration reform bill to Congress that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals and make it easier for foreign U.S. graduates with STEM degrees to stay in the United States, among other provisions.

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Emily Birnbaum

Emily Birnbaum ( @birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.

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