Google Employee Says She Was Laid Off Hours After Giving Birth

  • Kate Howells found out she had been laid off from Google hours after giving birth.
  • She was one of the 12,000 Google employees caught in the latest slew of tech layoffs.
  • Howells said Google has not responded to her query about whether she will get her maternity leave benefits.

Kate Howells gave birth to her second child on January 19. She said that barely ten hours later, while still in the hospital holding her baby, she found out that she had been laid off from her job at Google. 

She was one of the 12,000 Google employees caught in the latest slew of tech layoffs, which was announced on Friday. 

Howells, who worked at Google in a variety of roles over the course of almost ten years, wrote in a LinkedIn post that getting laid off from her job while recovering from labor led to a lot of mixed emotions during her stay at the hospital. Most recently, she served as the head of reach for global client and agency solutions at Google, per her profile.

She used the hashtag #thegolden12k, which has been used by a number of other ex-Google employees posting about their retrenchment.  


“I’ve read before that job loss is one of the top ten most stressful experiences you can have in life, and that welcoming a new child is one of the happiest. So what happens in the extremely unusual circumstance that those things collide within ten hours? A very intense and emotionally confusing postpartum hospital stay,” she wrote in her post.

She said she would be focusing on her family, which would be relocating from New York to Phoenix, Arizona. She also said she’s certain that she’ll be able to bounce back from this obstacle. 

“The end point isn’t a clear picture for me amidst this newborn haze, but I know I can take back control of this story and when I look back I’ll say I’m so grateful this led me to {fill in the blank},” she said in her post.

A comment on Howells’ post asked her if Google would continue to give her maternity benefits, to which she replied that she had not been informed about it.

“As of now Google has not provided me any information about the status of my maternity leave benefits. I reached out to HR a couple of days ago asking for clarity and have not heard back,” her reply read. 

Representatives for Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

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