Ex-Google Contractor Settles Lawsuit Over Fellowship of Friends Sect | Technology

Ex-Google Contractor Settles Lawsuit Over Fellowship of Friends Sect | Technology

A former video producer for Google has settled a lawsuit that claimed he was fired after he complained {that a} non secular sect had gained a foothold inside a enterprise unit of the corporate.

Kevin Lloyd, 34, stated within the swimsuit that he had been fired after complaining that the Fellowship of Pals, a spiritual group based mostly within the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, dominated a enterprise unit known as Google Developer Studios, which makes movies showcasing the corporate’s applied sciences.

The swimsuit claimed that the chief of the enterprise unit — Peter Lubbers, a longtime member of the Fellowship of Pals — employed lots of the non secular group’s members onto the workforce as contractors, helped some advance to full-time positions and gave work to many others when staffing firm conferences and events.

Google confirmed on Monday that the swimsuit had been resolved. It additionally confirmed that Mr. Lubbers was not employed by Google, although it declined to elucidate his departure. Mr. Lubbers couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

Mr. Lloyd final yr introduced the swimsuit towards each Google and Superior Methods Group, or ASG, a staffing firm that introduced him into Google as a contractor. It accused each firms of violating a California employment regulation that protects staff from discrimination.

The swimsuit raised questions on Google’s dependence on contract workers, who now outnumber full-time staff inside the corporate. Most of Mr. Lloyd’s workforce joined the corporate by way of ASG as contractors, together with many members of the Fellowship.

Mr. Lloyd agreed to settle the swimsuit final week. Phrases of the settlement — which was between Mr. Lloyd and ASG — weren’t disclosed.

Based by a former schoolteacher named Robert Earl Burton in 1970, the Fellowship of Pals describes itself as “accessible to anybody fascinated with pursuing the religious work of awakening.” It claims about 1,500 members around the globe, together with roughly 500 in and round Oregon Home, Calif., a tiny city about 180 miles north of Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

Mr. Burton believed individuals might obtain the next consciousness by embracing the positive arts. Over the a long time, he cultivated an extravagant life-style with assist from his followers, who usually donated 10 p.c of their month-to-month earnings to the group.

In 1984, a former member filed a lawsuit claiming that younger males who joined the group “had been forcefully and unlawfully sexually seduced by Burton.” In 1996, one other former member accused Mr. Burton of sexual misconduct with him when he was a minor. Each fits have been settled out of courtroom.

In 2008, Catherine Jones, Mr. Lloyd’s lawyer in his swimsuit towards Google and ASG, gained the same swimsuit towards the staffing firm Kelly Companies. With the swimsuit, a former Kelly worker claimed the corporate failed to advertise her as a result of, not like many co-workers, she was not a member of the Fellowship. A courtroom awarded her $6.5 million in damages.

Earlier than taking a job at Google and operating the Google Developer Studios, Mr. Lubbers labored at Kelly Companies.

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