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California Mom-to-be Among the 12,000 Layoffs at Google

January 31, 2023 | Employment Law

“It was wonderful to know that I’m one week closer to seeing my baby after completing a comprehensive handover doc before I take my leave as a Program Manager. However, the moment I checked my phone, my heart sank. I am one of the 12,000 impacted,” wrote Katherine Wong on LinkedIn.


Google’s US employees will receive a severance package of at least 16 weeks’ salary, bonuses and other benefits as per their individual contracts. While CEO Sundar Pichai said in his letter to employees that they would be fully supported through this transition Katherine is left in a difficult situation. At 34 weeks of pregnancy, a week away from maternity leave, she feels it’s almost impossible to look for a job. Katherine has been working as a Program Manager for Google Domain. Grateful for the emotional support of her team she will likely find herself in an uncomfortable situation when it’s time to return to work.


Google joins tech giants, Microsoft, Meta, and Twitter, announcing massive layoffs. HP, SalesForce, and Adobe have significantly pared down their workforces. In an autumn meeting to address Google’s reductions in travel and entertainment budgets Pichai said, “We don’t get to choose the macroeconomic conditions always.” He announced hiring reductions at that time as well.


While California law prohibits an employer from terminating a pregnant worker due to her pregnancy, employers can legally terminate a pregnant employee as part of a general workforce layoff. A working mom in California can expect up to four months of job-protected leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law plus an additional 12 weeks under the California Family Rights Act.


Consult with our experienced employment attorneys if your job has been terminated after announcing your pregnancy.