Google senior manager sues company

Employment tribunal told of alleged unfair performance demands

Google’s offices on  Barrow Street in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Google’s offices on Barrow Street in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 15:14

A case in which one of the most senior managers at Google Ireland was dismissed for alleged underperformance, has reopened before the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Rachel Berthold, who was a “level-six” employee and, as such, senior to 93 per cent of the managers in Google’s Dublin operation, has alleged she was unfairly dismissed by the company in May 2011.

Anne-Catrin Sallaba, the claimant’s superior, has previously told the tribunal that while Ms Berthold had certain skills she underperformed in three important areas, in that she was not sufficiently pro-active, had failed to show sufficient “strategic” initiative and lacked certain communications skills.

Ms Berthold claimed she was unfairly treated by Ms Sallaba who she alleged was unfairly negative in relation to her and had altered performance related targets, with the result that they became considerably harder to achieve.

This morning the company described how Ms Berthold’s had been given opportunities to improve her performance before and during the process of issuing a final written warning.

However counsel for Ms Berthold questioned the use of the final written warning, remarking that Ms Berthold had been given a three-month, targeted improvement programme and was forced to use at least four weeks of that time, to appeal the final warning.

Following a review by Google’s human resources management the final written warning was upheld.

It was also found that Ms Berthold had failed to complete the targeted improvement programme. She was dismissed in May 2011.