Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Google employees worldwide walk out of offices against sexual harassment cases

Google employees worldwide walk out of offices against sexual harassment cases

The walkout at Google's Fremont offices were part of a companywide protest at offices from Tokyo and Singapore to London and NY, reflecting a growing #MeToo-style backlash among women against frat-house misbehavior in heavily male-dominated Silicon Valley.

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.

A Twitter account under the name of the Google protest, billed the "Walkout For Real Change", said the protesters' goals include several policy changes at the tech firm, including "a publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report" and "a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity".

The story also outlines a culture of sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the company.

In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said the company hasn't done enough to assure workers that it takes sexual harassment seriously.

Google said yesterday that i was aware of the protest plans for today and stated that "employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate". "We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action", Pichai said.

Demonstrations at the company's offices around the world began at 11:10 am in Tokyo and took place at the same time in other time zones.

Employees from more than 60 percent of Google offices worldwide will participate, organisers for the walkout told Gizmodo in an email.

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Mr Rubin denied the allegation in the story, which he also said contained "wild exaggerations" about his compensation.

The first office to protest was Google's Singapore location. A flyer left at employees' desks explains that they've left in protest of the lack of transparency surrounding sexual assault cases.

The walkouts came after a New York Times investigation into sexual misconduct within the company.

Forty-eight employees have been fired by the company in the past two years, including 13 senior executives in sexual harassment cases, the Google CEO added. Google did not dispute the report.

"I think that sexual harassment and sexual misconduct is kind of the tip of the iceberg of the things that women deal with in a work environment where they are a minority", said Amelia Brunner, a software engineer who's been with Google for three years.

The treatment of female employees at Google was a contentious issue before the recent headlines.

Growing employee activism. This is the latest and most high profile incident in a trend of growing employee activism in Silicon Valley and in particular at Google.

"I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel", he wrote. Google has also been sued by former employees and the Department of Labor, which claims that it underpaid women. It turned out the company has paid millions of dollars to departing male executives in similar situations.

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