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Google Employees Stage Massive Global Walkout to Protest Handling of Sexual Misconduct
Google employees on Thursday staged a massive walkout at two-thirds of the company’s offices across the globe to protest the company’s handling of harassment issues, which came to light after the New York Times published an article revealing that Google had paid a $90-million exit package to a a former executive accused of sexual misconduct.
The coordinated walkout took place at 11:10 A.M. in every time zone, with many employees sharing their experiences on Twitter.
— Ciara O'Brien (@ciaraobrien) November 1, 2018
— boaz goldstein (@boaz_G) November 1, 2018
— Jacobo Tarrío (@JacoboTarrio) November 1, 2018
— Briana Wallace (@BrianaWallace) November 1, 2018
— Dave Lee (@DaveLeeBBC) November 1, 2018
— Ted (@TedOnPrivacy) November 1, 2018
The seven women who organized the walkout –
All employees and contract workers across the company deserve to be safe. Sadly, the executive team has demonstrated through their lack of meaningful action that our safety is not a priority. We’ve waited for leadership to fix these problems, but have come to this conclusion: no one is going to do it for us. So we are here, standing together, protecting and supporting each other. We demand an end to the sexual harassment, discrimination, and the systemic racism that fuel this destructive culture.
We are building on the work of others. Many at Google have been advocating for structural change for years. It’s their legacy and leadership that made this moment possible. We are a small part of a massive movement that has been growing for a long time. We are inspired by everyone from the women in fast food who led an action against sexual harassment to the thousands of women in the #metoo movement who have been the beginning of the end for this type of abuse.
Their demands include ending forced arbitration “in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees, along with a right for every Google worker to bring a co-worker, representative, or supporter of their choosing when meeting with HR, especially when filing a harassment claim”; a “commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity”; transparency on sexual harassment reports that are publicly disclosed; a “clear, uniform, globally inclusive process” for employees to report sexual harassment; and the promotion of a Chief Diversity Officer that will answer directly to the CEO.
The Times reported that Google gave Adam Rubin – a former Google executive and the creator of Android – a $90 million exit package that would pay him $2 million a month for four years after he left the company in 2014. According to the Times, Larry Page, who was Google’s chief executive at the time, had asked for Rubin’s resignation after being accused by an employee of sexual misconduct.
The woman – with whom Rubin had an extramarital affair – “said he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013,” and after conducting an investigation, Google “concluded her claim was credible.” Sam Singer, a spokesman for Rubin, denied that Rubin had been told of any sexual misconduct, telling the Times that he left Google “of his own accord.”
Meanwhile, Richard DeVaul, an Alphabet executive who had been accused of sexually harassing a job applicant in that same Times piece, recently resigned from his position. He did not receive a severance package.
Photo: Via Twitter