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Google employees organizing mass walkout to protest sex misconduct

More than 200 Google employees will take part in a mass walkout as way to protest the company’s protection of Android mobile software creator, Andy Rubin, who was accused of sexual misconduct.

BuzzFeed News reported that the company-wide walkout is set to take place on Thursday.

The demonstration comes just days after it was revealed Google sacked 48 people over sexual harassment claims in the last two years. 

Thirteen senior managers were among those dismissed, according to an email sent to employees by chief executive Sundar Pichai and Eileen Naughton, VP people operations, and provided by a Google spokesman.

Pichai revealed the figure in a letter to employees in response to a report in the New York Times, which suggested Rubin was given a $90million exit package despite facing misconduct allegations.

The technology giant said it took an ‘increasingly hard line’ on misconduct by senior managers and offered employees avenues to report harassment anonymously. 

More than 200 Google employees will take part in a mass walkout as way to protest the company’s protection of Android mobile software creator, Andy Rubin

Rubin, pictured in San Francisco in September 2011, was given a $90million exit package despite facing misconduct allegations

Rubin, pictured in San Francisco in September 2011, was given a $90million exit package despite facing misconduct allegations

Pichai said he found the revelations ‘difficult to read’.

One Google employee, who wished to remain anonymous told BuzzFeed: ‘Personally, I’m furious. I feel like there’s a pattern of powerful men getting away with awful behavior towards women at Google‚ or if they don’t get away with it, they get a slap on the wrist, or they get sent away with a golden parachute, like Andy Rubin.

‘And it’s a leadership of mostly men making the decisions about what kind of consequences to give, or not give.

‘Some people are definitely talking about joining that now because of the latest harassment and abuse stories.’

Organizers said they have presented petitions and demanded stricter employee oversights to management, while some even left their positions at the company as way to protest. 

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai made the announcement in an email to employees

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai made the announcement in an email to employees

Google Chief Executive’s response to sexual misconduct revelations

Hi everyone,

Today’s story in the New York Times was difficult to read.

We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action.

In recent years, we’ve made a number of changes, including taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority: in the last two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above. None of these individuals received an exit package.

In 2015, we launched Respect@ and our annual Internal Investigations Report to provide transparency about these types of investigations at Google. Because we know that reporting harassment can be traumatic, we provide confidential channels to share any inappropriate behavior you experience or see. We support and respect those who have spoken out. You can find many ways to do this at go/saysomething. You can make a report anonymously if you wish.

We’ve also updated our policy to require all VPs and SVPs to disclose any relationship with a co-worker regardless of reporting line or presence of conflict.

We are committed to ensuring that Google is a workplace where you can feel safe to do your best work, and where there are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately.

Sundar and Eileen

Rubin left Google in 2014 to create, Playground Global, an incubator for hardware startups.

But following his exit, the claim was reported to Google’s human resources department and subsequently an investigation was opened.

On Thursday, The Times report claimed Rubin coerced the woman into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013.

The allegation against  Andy Rubin (pictured in NYC in June), emerged in November

The allegation against Andy Rubin (pictured in NYC in June), emerged in November

But just a few weeks into the investigation, Rubin was given an additional stock package of $150million.

According to the Times, that stock package was unusually high by Google’s standards. 

Eventually, Google officials found the woman’s claim to be credible.  

Rubin was later asked to resign by Google’s co-founder, Larry Page.  

And despite the credible claim, Rubin was reportedly paid the $90million exit package in the form of monthly payments ranging from $1.25million to $2.5million over the course of four years.

According to the Times, Rubin’s ex-wife, Rie, filed a civil suit this month.

In the suit, she claimed he had multiple ‘ownership relationships’ with other women during their marriage and paid the women hundreds of thousands of dollars. They finalized their divorce in August.

A screenshot of an August 2015 email Rubin reportedly sent to one woman was also included in the suit. 

‘You will be happy being taken care of,’ he wrote, according to the Times.

‘Being owned is kinda like you are my property, and I can loan you to other people.’  

A spokesman for Rubin told the paper he denied any misconduct and he had not been made aware of the claims when he left in 2014.

Details of Rubin's 2014 exit were revealed in a bombshell New York Times report released Thursday that claimed Rubin coerced the woman into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013

Details of Rubin’s 2014 exit were revealed in a bombshell New York Times report released Thursday that claimed Rubin coerced the woman into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013

In response, a Google memo said: ‘We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action.

‘In recent years, we’ve made a number of changes, including taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority: in the last two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above. None of these individuals received an exit package.’

The email also said the firm had enforced a policy requiring managers at vice president and senior vice president level to disclose relationships with co-workers.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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