World-wide Walkout For Google Employees In Protest Of Company’s Handling Of Sexual Misconduct
By Sofy Robertson
#GoogleWalkout is trending as employees of the company’s offices worldwide are walking out in protest of Google’s handling of sexual harassment cases.
Organisers of the protest, Google Walkout for Real Change, expects more than 1500 employees, mostly women, to walk out from more than 60% of Google’s offices.
The walkout organisers are demanding that Google make five concrete changes to its company 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.
Employees who are deciding to walkout will leave a flyer on their desks, which reads:
“Hi, I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out in solidarity with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone. I’ll be back at my desk later. I walked out for Real Change.”
The primary catalyst for the protest has been the fallout around allegations surrounding Android co-founder Andy Rubin, who left Google in 2014. The New York Times reported that Alphabet CEO Larry Page, the head of Google before its reorganisation, asked Rubin to resign following claims that he had coerced an employee into performing oral sex on him in a hotel room the previous year. Controversially, Rubin was reported to have received a $90 million exit package that Google was under no obligation to grant, along with a supportive statement from the page.
Similarly, former SVP of search Amit Singhal was reported to have received an exit package worth millions after leaving amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Sundar Pichai, current Google CEO, and VP of people operations, Eileen Naughton, responded to media attention last week by saying that Google had fired forty-eight people for sexual harassment in the past two years without giving them any exit packages. However, they did not deny any of the alleged details in the Times’ report.
To follow the latest in the Google walkouts, search #googlewalkout on Twitter.