Google and Its High School Management: An HR Example

March 22, 2023

I read “Google Won’t Honor Medical Leave During Its Layoffs, Outraging Employees.” Interesting explanation of some of Google’s management methods. These specific actions strike me as similar to those made by my high school science club in 1959. We were struggling with the issue of requiring a specific academic threshold for admission. As I recall, one had to have straight A’s in math and science or no Science Club for that person. (We did admit one student who published an article in the Journal of Astronomy with his brother as co-author. He had an incomplete in calculus because he was in Hawaii fooling around with a telescope and missed the final exam. We decided to let him in. Because, well, we were the Science Club for goodness sakes!)


Scribbled Diffusion’s rendition of a Google manager (looks a bit like a clown, doesn’t it?) telling an employee he is fired and that his medical insurance has been terminated.

The article reports:

While employees’ severance packages might come with a few more months of health insurance, being fired means instantly losing access to Google’s facilities. If that’s where a laid-off Googler’s primary care doctor works, that person is out of luck, and some employees told CNBC they lost access to their doctors the second the layoff email arrived. Employees on leave also have a lot to deal with. One former Googler, Kate Howells, said she was let go by Google from her hospital bed shortly after giving birth. She worked at the company for nine years.

The highlight of the write up, however, is the Comment Section. Herewith are several items I found noteworthy:

  • Gsgrego writes, “Employees, aka expendable garbage.”
  • Chanman819 offers, “I’ve mentioned it before in one of the other layoff threads, but companies shouldn’t burn bridges when doing layoffs… departing employees usually end up at competitors, regulators, customers, vendors, or partners in the same industry. Many times, they boomerang back a few years in the future. Making sure they have an axe to grind during negotiations or when on the other side of a working relationship is exceptionally ill-advised.
  • Ajmas says, “Termination by accounting.”
  • Asvarduil offers, “Twitter and Google are companies that I now consider radioactive to work for. Even if they don’t fail soon, they’re very clearly poorly-managed. If I had to work for someone else, they’re both companies I’d avoid.
  • MisterJim adds, “Two thoughts: 1. Stay classy Google! 2. Google has employees? Anyone who’s tried to contact them might assume otherwise.

High school science club lives on in the world of non-founder management.

Stephen E Arnold, March 22, 2023


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