Google employees will be staging a walkout Thursday to protest the company’s recent settlement of a sexual misconduct allegation and its overall treatment of sexual harassment cases, according to multiple reports.
BuzzFeed News said the walkout has been dubbed the “women’s walk” by employees who plan to participate.
“…over the weekend, frustrated employees in a group for female engineers began upvoting a post on an internal forum that suggested employees organize a walkout. By Monday morning […] the Google group of employees who planned to participate numbered more than 200.”
— Tech Workers Coalition (@techworkersco) October 29, 2018
The catalyst for the walkout was a report by The New York Times that one executive received a $90 million severance package despite that fact that accusations of misconduct against him were credible, Deadline reported.
The Times report focused on Andrew Rubin, who left Google in 2014 at the time a woman claimed he forced her to have oral sex with him. The report, however, said that Rubin was not an isolated case.
“Rubin was one of three executives that Google protected over the past decade after they were accused of sexual misconduct. In two instances, it ousted senior executives, but softened the blow by paying them millions of dollars as they departed, even though it had no legal obligation to do so. In a third, the executive remained in a highly compensated post at the company. Each time Google stayed silent about the accusations against the men,” the Times wrote.
Rubin denied the claims contained in the Times story.
“The New York Times story contains numerous inaccuracies about my employment at Google and wild exaggerations about my compensation,” Rubin said in a statement.
“Specifically, I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. These false allegations are part of a smear campaign by my ex-wife to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle,” his statement said.
Google responded by sending employees an email said that it fired 48 people due to sexual misconduct issues and never gave any of them an exit package.
“We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in the email.
But Liz Fong-Jones, a Google engineer, said employees were not buying the story management was selling.
“When Google covers up harassment and passes the trash, it contributes to an environment where people don’t feel safe reporting misconduct,” she said.
“They suspect that nothing will happen or, worse, that the men will be paid and the women will be pushed aside,” she added.
Google employees, unhappy with the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against executives, planning a walkout, maybe for Thursday. They have a list of requests for management: https://t.co/7I9ubZmPB6
— Ellen Huet (@ellenhuet) October 29, 2018
In its report on the walkout, Bloomberg said that employees have presented management with a list of demands aimed at supporting individuals who want to come forward with claims of sexual harassment at Google.
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