One of those fired was Rebecca Rivers, a software engineer who was at the center of a rally last week after she was indefinitely suspended. She was put on leave over allegations she had accessed documents not pertinent to her work at the tech giant. About 200 showed up for the rally on Friday outside Google's San Francisco offices to protest the action against Rivers and that of another engineer, Laurence Berland, who is accused of improperly accessing colleagues' internal calendars.
In a memo to all employees Monday, Google's Security and Investigations Team said "none of these individuals were fired for simply looking at documents or calendars during the ordinary course of their work," according to a copy obtained by The Washington Post. Google spokeswoman Katie Hutchison declined to name the employees.
"To the contrary, our thorough investigation found the individuals were involved in systematic searches for other employees' materials and work," according to the memo. "This includes searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs."