sexual harassment

Shareholder suit alleges Google covered up its sexual harassment problems with big payouts

Posted by | Alphabet, amit singhal, Android, andy rubin, Eric Schmidt, Google, John Doerr, Larry Page, lawsuit, Ram Shriram, Sergey Brin, sexual harassment, Sundar Pichai, TC | No Comments

Months after an earth-shattering New York Times investigation exposed Google parent company Alphabet’s $90 million payout to Android co-founder Andy Rubin, despite the accusations of sexual misconduct made against him, a Google shareholder is suing the company.

James Martin filed suit in the San Mateo Superior Court Thursday morning, alleging the company’s leaders deployed massive allowances to poor-behaving executives to cover up harassment scandals. Both Rubin and Google’s former head of search Amit Singhal, who peacefully left the company in 2016 amid harassment allegations that weren’t made public until the following year, are listed as defendants in the court filing. This is because the plaintiff is seeking a full return of the massive payouts awarded to the embattled former execs.

With charges including breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, abuse of power and corporate waste, per The Washington Post, the lawsuit asks for an end of nondisclosure and arbitration agreements at Google, which ensure workplace disputes are settled behind closed doors and without any right to an appeal. Martin is also requesting Google incorporate three new directors to the Alphabet board and put an end to supervoting shares, which gives certain shareholders more voting control.

The lawsuit also targets Rubin, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, chief executive officer Sundar Pichai and executive chairman Eric Schmidt. Former human resources director Laszlo Bock, chief legal officer David Drummond and former executive Amit Singhal are also named, as are long-time venture capitalists and Google board members John Doerr and Ram Shriram.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Following the release of the NYT report, Googlers across the world rallied to protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations. The protestors had five key asks, including an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination, a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity and a clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously. Google ultimately complied with employees and put an end to forced arbitration; other tech companies, such as Airbnb, followed suit.

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Google employees across the globe are walking out now to protest sexual harassment

Posted by | Android, andy rubin, Diversity, Google, protests, sexual harassment, Sundar Pichai, TC | No Comments

Google employees are fed up with the search giant’s lack of transparency when it comes to handling sexual harassment and misconduct allegations.

This morning, thousands of Googlers from San Francisco to Dublin are walking out in hopes of bringing real change to the company. The protest follows a New York Times report last week that revealed Google had provided Android co-creator Andy Rubin a $90 million payout package despite credible allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.

The protestors have five key asks:

  1. An end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.
  2. A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.
  3. A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.
  4. A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
  5. Elevate the chief diversity officer to answer directly to the chief executive officer and make recommendations directly to the board of directors. And appoint an employee representative to the board.

Plans of the walkout emerged earlier this week, just days after the bombshell NYT report was released. According to BuzzFeed, some 200 Googlers began staging the protest; the group quickly grew to thousands, including non-U.S. Googlers. Google CEO Sundar Pichai had reportedly condoned the protest in an internal e-mail to employees Tuesday.

“Earlier this week, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for today and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate,” Pichai said in a statement provided to TechCrunch today. “Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”

Pichai also responded to the NYT report with a letter co-signed by vice president of people operations Eileen Naughton, admitting that 48 people had been terminated at the company for sexual harassment in the past two years alone, including 13 senior employees.

We’ll be at the San Francisco protest, which begins at 11:10 a.m. PST. Here’s a look at protestors around the globe this morning.

The #googlewalkout in Zurich has impressive numbers! @googlewalkout pic.twitter.com/bgLHDLYfez

— Ted (@TedOnPrivacy) November 1, 2018

Google employees in Montreal have gathered up the street from their office on the campus of McGill University – #GoogleWalkout @GoogleWalkout – No one willing to speak on the record, but one explaining that the action says it all. pic.twitter.com/lB8siMeWMj

— Elias Makos 📺📻🎙 (@eliasmakos) November 1, 2018

#GoogleWalkout Cambridge — seems like the whole office is here. Can’t get a photo that accurately expresses the magnitude. pic.twitter.com/94rIbQJ9Ls

— mc #YesOn3 millen (@mcmillen) November 1, 2018

More signs from Google NYC’s pre-walkout sign making! #GoogleWalkout pic.twitter.com/4hjTJaHtqS

— Google Walkout For Real Change (@GoogleWalkout) November 1, 2018

Google NYC #GoogleWalkout pic.twitter.com/5BJ0u5EZCJ

— Google Walkout For Real Change (@GoogleWalkout) November 1, 2018

#GoogleWalkout Dublin. pic.twitter.com/joL1uHGavJ

— Ciara O’Brien (@ciaraobrien) November 1, 2018

The first of many coordinated #GoogleWalkout protests has begun – this is at the firm’s office in Singapore. (Pic via https://t.co/h44RZYGGHV ) pic.twitter.com/QeFgmPbHnN

— Dave Lee (@DaveLeeBBC) November 1, 2018

Hello from Google in London. A groups just came out for the #googlewalkout pic.twitter.com/nTeZ9rSAKC

— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) November 1, 2018

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