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As promised, Google employees stage walkout in response to sexual misconduct allegations
- Over 1,500 Google employees around the world walked out of their offices today.
- The organizers behind the walkouts called for five concrete changes to Google’s company policy.
- The walkouts are in direct response to a report which detailed sexual harassment allegations against former and current high-profile Google executives.
After a report surfaced earlier this week that at least 200 Google employees planned a walkout for this week, those Google employees did just that today. The only difference is that so many more employees decided to walk out than initially expected.
Organizers of today’s Google Walkout for Real Change told The New York Times that over 1,500 employees plan to walk out from over 60 percent of Google’s offices. Most of the employees that will walk out are women, though everyone that chose to walk out today placed these flyers at their desks:
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From Ireland and Brazil to London and even Google’s own headquarters in Mountain View, more than a few people decided to walk out. The walkouts started at 11:00am local time and look to still be going on, from the looks of the walkout’s official Twitter page.
The organizers of the walkout demand Google make five changes to its policy:
- An end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination
- A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity
- A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report
- A clear, uniform, globally-inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously
- Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Directors. In addition, appoint an Employee Representative to the Board.
Whether these changes will happen as a result of today’s walkout is anyone’s guess. However, last week’s damning report continues to create huge ripples within Google and is the latest in an increasing number of sexual misconduct reports that manifested out of the #MeToo movement.
According to the report, Google gave Android co-founder Andy Rubin received a $90 million exit package. Rubin resigned after allegations that he coerced an employee to perform oral sex on him in a hotel room in 2013. Former senior vice president of search Amit Singhal reportedly left the company under similar circumstances.
The report also named Google X director Richard DuVaul, who resigned earlier this week and reportedly sexually harassed a prospective hire.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai and vice president of people operations Eileen Naughton responded to the report last week and said the company fired 48 employees for sexual harassment. Out of the 48 fired employees, 13 were “senior managers and above” and none received exit packages as Rubin did.
Rubin also responded to the report and said it “contains numerous inaccuracies about my employment at Google.” He also called the report and Google’s response part of a “smear campaign” against him.