Employment Law

Report: Google could cut jobs in ad sales unit amid AI success

A photo of a circuit board creating the shape of a human brain. (Photo: Steve Johnson / Unsplash)

Google might scale back the size of its advertising sales unit as it continues to develop its artificial intelligence (AI) offerings.

What’s happening at Google?

According to a recent report by The Information, Google’s AI tools have made many roles in its ad sales unit redundant.

During a meeting last week, an executive told staff that the tech giant is planning to reorganize a “big part” of the division, which employs approximately 30,000 people.

While Google didn’t confirm that the reorganization will involve job cuts, workers in several departments are worried about being let go.

The report comes just months after the company announced in January that it was eliminating approximately 12,000 positions.

Can Google fire and replace staff with AI in Canada?

In Canada, employers can fire non-unionized workers and fill their position with AI — even if the individual is effectively performing the duties of their job.

This is called a termination without cause. You can be let go for any reason, as long as:

It’s very unlikely that your boss would be able to fire you for cause in this situation — meaning no severance package or access to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

To justify dismissing you for cause, the company would have to prove progressive disciplinary measures were applied and that a lesser punishment wouldn’t be suitable, which is very difficult to do.

This type of termination is reserved for the worst kinds of workplace offences, such as theft or assault.

• Can employers use AI to decide who to fire?
Can my boss ban the use of AI at work?
Deloitte using AI to retain top talent, avoid mass layoffs

Termination agreements for Google Canada staff

Non-unionized employees at Google Canada are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains why you are still owed severance if you have been downsized on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

If you don’t receive the correct amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and should take legal action.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue proper severance pay.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance for tech sector staff
• Severance packages during mass layoffs
Spanish YouTuber suing Google, alleges wrongful dismissal

Pocket Employment Lawyer

Questions about your employment rights? Use our free interactive tool to get fast answers

Get Answers Now

Major tech layoffs continue

The potential reduction at Google comes after a flurry of tech sector layoffs in 2023.

Notable employers, including Bolt, Cruise, Etsy, Spotify, Unity, Broadcom, ByteDance, Amazon, Informatica, Ubisoft, Bungie, Splunk, and Nokia, have announced deep job cuts as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

• Firm launches $130M class action against Shopify for breach of contract
• Report: Canadian video software company Vidyard slashes 20% of staff
• Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Lost your job? Talk to an employment lawyer

If you have been fired or let go for any reason, contact the experienced employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Our lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. have successfully represented tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals.

In addition to severance package negotiations, we can assist you on a broad range of employment matters, including:

If you are a non-unionized employee who needs help with a workplace issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

Fired? Lost Your Job?

Talk to Canada's most positively reviewed employment law firm today to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve

Get Help Now

Advice You Need. Compensation You Deserve.

Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. We are one of Canada's most experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firms. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

Get help now