Employment Law

Google Layoffs: Assistant, hardware, and engineering teams affected

A photo of multiple wires plugged into a machine. (Photo: Scott Rodgerson / Unsplash)

Google is laying off hundreds of employees across multiple teams in a bid to reduce costs.

What’s happening at Google?

According to news outlets, including Reuters, Google is scaling back staffing levels in the following departments:

  • Voice Assistant unit
  • Hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit
  • Augmented Reality (AR) unit
  • Central engineering team

“Throughout [the] second half of 2023, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, and to align their resources to their biggest product priorities,” a company spokesperson told Reuters in a statement.

“Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally.”

The spokesperson didn’t specify the number of roles being cut on each team. However, the Alphabet Workers Union said at least 1,000 employees have been let go.

As of September 2023, Google’s parent company Alphabet had more than 182,000 workers.

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Google layoffs in Canada

It remains unclear if Canadian employees are affected by the latest reduction at Google.

According to the tech giant’s LinkedIn page, it has more than 3,700 workers in the country.

Termination agreements for Google Canada staff

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Google 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

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Major tech layoffs continue

Google isn’t the only major tech company that has announced sweeping job cuts to kick off 2024.

Other big names, including Amazon, Twitch, Unity, and Xerox, have also pulled out the axe as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

• Firm launches $130M class action against Shopify for breach of contract
Where are layoffs happening in Canada?
Severance pay by company (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.

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