Google engineer laid off hours before she gave birth to second child, says company betrayed her

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Natasha Nesiba, who worked as an engineer at Google, says she received the letter from Google about the layoff when her body was most vulnerable.

Abhik Sengupta

New Delhi,UPDATED: Jan 29, 2023 11:49 IST

By Abhik Sengupta: Google laid off approximately 12,000 employees earlier this month. Many impacted staff took to LinkedIn to thank their colleagues and seek new roles amid these uncertain times. Last week, we covered several stories about ex-Google employees who served over 15 years at the company, with some even serving for 20 years. Another former employee, Natasha Nesiba, came forward and said that she was let go hours before going into labour for her second child. She shared her story on LinkedIn.

In the post, Nesiba, who worked as an engineer, says she received the letter from Google about the layoff when her body was most vulnerable, adding that she is finding it difficult to be strong in this uncertain time. The post notes, ” I can’t help but feel sad for the abrupt end of my time at Google after years of loyalty and contributions to the company. I also feel angry and betrayed for the cold execution of the layoffs over email, especially while I was/am on maternity leave. Having to navigate all the offboarding information and required next steps while dealing with the demands of postpartum is cruel.”

Nesiba said that Google was her first tech job, and she worked across several divisions. She notes she is not “immediately open to working” but will be later this year. However, many Indian workers in the US are under immense pressure to find new jobs to save their H1-B and L1 visas.

Insider Today also spoke to Nesiba, and the former-Google employee said she couldn’t “stop shaking and crying” after receiving the letter before going into labour.

Many Google employees have indicated that the company’s layoff process was abrupt and disrespectful. Garima Sahai, who worked as an engineering director at Google, said last week that she was laid off after spending approximately 20 years there. Her post on LinkedIn points out that she’s using the platform as Google abruptly stopped her access to an internal email.

Sahai said, “To Google leadership (and I’ve considered myself part of it): I can imagine and have empathy for this being a super hard thing to do and I wish the process would have been a bit more respectful for all our sake.”

Meanwhile, Google’s top management has defended the layoffs and said the move was necessary. Several factors have led to mass layoffs, but the biggest concerns tech companies are overhiring during the two years of the peak COVID-19 pandemic. Several tech companies such as Meta and Amazon hired too many workers, and these companies also let go of thousands of employees to save expenses amid an uncertain macroeconomic period.

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