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Employee sues Google for alleged illegal confidentiality policies

An unnamed product manager at Google Inc. is suing the company for employing allegedly illegal confidentiality agreements, policies, and practices, including an alleged prohibition on whistleblowing, claiming breach of California Labor Code.

The suit, which was filed in the California Superior Court in San Francisco on Dec. 19, claims that Google even prohibits employees from writing down their concerns regarding potential illegal activity within the company, even to attorneys or the government, and deems "everything at Google" to be classified information. The plaintiff accused Brian Katz, Google’s director of global investigations, intelligence and protective services, for falsely accusing the plaintiff of leaking certain information to the media and terminating the plaintiff's employment.

The lawsuit alleged that Google trains its employees to conceal potential illegal conduct by the company or suppress information about dangerous products as part of its effort to prevent whistleblowing. It added that Google also allegedly encourages employees to report other staffers they suspect of leaking information under a program called "Stop Leaks."

Google is a unit of Alphabet Inc.