As strange as it may sound, but a former Google contractual employees has claimed that Google Developer Studio (GDS) is being run by an obscure religious sect. Kevin Lloyd, a contractor hired as a video producer for GDS, has alleged that the religious cult known as ‘Fellowship of Friends’ exerts an “inappropriate level of influence” over the work environment in the GDS team.
Lloyd has filed a lawsuit against Google and his contracting agency ASG, seeking damages for wrongful termination, retaliation, emotional distress, and failure to protect him against discrimination. In the lawsuit, he claims that he was “wrongly fired for calling out the group’s behaviour”. It further claims that as many as 12 Fellowship members and close relatives worked for the Google Developer Studio. Another allegation made in the lawsuit is that Google paid for a “state-of-the-art sound system installed in the Oregon House home of one Fellowship member who worked for the team as a sound designer.”
Incidentally, Google Developer Studio, a business unit of Google, is run by Peter Lubbers, a long-time member of the Fellowship of Friends.
What is ‘Fellowship of Friends’
It is a religious sect that reportedly believes a higher consciousness can be achieved by embracing fine arts and culture. It owns a compound spanning 1200 acres in Oregon House, California.
What Google has to say
“We have longstanding employee and supplier policies in place to prevent discrimination and conflicts of interest, and we take those seriously,” a Google spokeswoman, Courtenay Mencini, said in a statement to NewYork Times. “It’s against the law to ask for the religious affiliations of those who work for us or for our suppliers, but we’ll of course thoroughly look into these allegations for any irregularities or improper contracting practices. If we find evidence of policy violations, we will take action,” she added.