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Google employees walk off the job to protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct claims, on November 1, 2018, in Mountain View, California. Employees were seen staging walkouts at offices around the world after a report last week that Google gave $90 million in a severance package to Any Rubin and covered up details of his sexual misconduct allegations, which triggered his departure. (Photo by Mason Trinca/Getty Images)

Don’t be evil

Google employees stage worldwide walkout to protest company’s sexual harassment policies

November 1, 2018

Google employees at more than 40 offices across the world walked out on Thursday as part of a planned protest against the company’s handling of sexual harassment claims. Images of the protests — including a gathering of more than 1,000 Google employees and allies in San Francisco — swiftly disseminated online as employees began walking out at 11 a.m. local time in their respective countries.

Outrage over the tech giant’s handling of sexual harassment complaints had buoyed in recent weeks following the publication of a New York Times exposé that alleged Google had covered up sexual misconduct claims against at least three senior executives — including Android founder Andy Rubin, who walked away from the company with a $90 million exit package. In an attempt to stem internal outrage from the report, Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, sent out a memo claiming that the company had fired nearly 50 people over harassment allegations in recent years and that none were given exit packages. In an apparent move to back up the tough talk, an Alphabet executive who had continued working despite a sexual harassment accusation against him abruptly resigned on Tuesday without an exit package.

At the protests, employees expressed anger and frustration with company policies such as forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases and the lack of a standardized process for reporting misconduct that allow employees to file reports safely and anonymously. Protestors also said they wanted the company to begin putting out sexual harassment transparency reports, to put forth a company policy aimed at ending pay and opportunity inequity, and to give employees a voice on the board of directors by appointing an employee representative and elevating the role of chief diversity officer so they could make recommendations to the board directly.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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