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The government is reportedly saying that Google cannot ban political conversation at work

An NLRB director approved a settlement in the case according to the report. It should be adopted after a period of appeal. According to the settlement, Google will reportedly tell workers that they have given back rules that prevent them from sharing information such as working conditions and pay with each other or reporters. Engadget has contacted Google and NLRB for comment.

One of the complaints was from engineer Kevin Cernekee, who claims that Google fired him for discussing his supposedly unpopular political views on internal message boards. Google says it fired him for abusing the company's equipment. He asked to be reinstated with a refund, but that will not happen during the settlement.

However, regulators told Google to revoke Cernekes final warning letter. It reportedly said he violated a section of the Code of Conduct that required employees to respect each other for remarks he made on the bulletin boards.

The other complainant was a current employee of Google who remains anonymous. He claims the company punished him for posting critical comments about a Google manager on Facebook. Attorneys for both complainants have objected to the settlement, claiming that they deserve a hearing, reports WSJ .

In August, Google updated its internal Community Guidelines to remind its employees that they are responsible for their words and said they would be held accountable for what they say. It urged them to avoid topics that make their colleagues feel as though they do not belong and not to discuss potentially disruptive "controversies."

The NLRB directive comes at a time when regulators have Google stuck under the microscope. Last week, it reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission and New York's law firm related to reported violations of child privacy rules. On Monday, it turned out that 50 state attorneys general have opened a joint antitrust investigation of the company. The Justice Department carries a similar probe.

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