Google Axes Seattle Employees, Report Says

7/20/09

Google is based based in Mountain View, CA, but has two research and development groups in the Seattle area, one in Kirkland, WA and one in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. But according to a report by Steve Spiegel in the Examiner yesterday, Google is getting smaller in the Northwest. The search engine giant is laying off “a large number” of the local contractors and full-time employees it hired to manage them, and is doing its best to keep these layoffs under the radar.

Google did not respond to an Xconomy request for comment, but the Examiner, citing anonymous sources, mentions that the layoffs are staggered and coordinated so that the company will not have to make government filings monitored by the media. The employees signed agreements not to share any information about their job, compensation, or layoffs, limiting what they can do about losing their positions.  The agreement also forbids unionizing or class-action lawsuits against Google, further preventing drawing any public attention to the layoffs.

The employees were technically in temporary positions, not full-time permanent employees, although their trials could last up to a year and be extended by Google as they wished. Many of the employees who were dismissed formerly worked at Fortune 500 companies and took the usually less well paid job at Google in the hope for a full-time position and career afterward.

Eric Hal Schwartz was an intern in Xconomy's Seattle office. Follow @

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