Google employees walk out over sexual harassment, inequality and racism claims

Google employees walk out over sexual harassment, inequality and racism claims

The original trigger for this protest was a report in the New York Times in which it was revealed that Google had deliberately covered up sexual misconduct by three senior executives.

The "Google Walkout For Real Change" campaign, which is using the hashtag @googlewalkout on Twitter, has shared photos online of mass walkouts at global offices. The protestors also called for publication of a sexual harassment transparency report.

Staff are demanding changes in how the company handles sexual misconduct allegations, including a call to end forced arbitration, which prevents accusers from suing.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged the discontent in an email to employees Tuesday, pledging the company would take a "much harder line on inappropriate behavior". Google has also been sued by former employees and the Department of Labor, which claims that it underpaid women.

A third woman said workplace sexual misconduct was not an issue contained to Google's United States offices. Andy Rubin, who created the Android operating system, was paid $90 million when he left the firm in 2014, despite a "credible" allegation of sexual misconduct.

Hundreds of Google employees in NY are walking off the job and gathering at a nearby park.

Hundreds of Google employees and contractors in Asia staged brief midday walkouts yesterday, with thousands more expected to follow at offices worldwide, amid complaints of sexism, racism and unchecked executive power in their workplace.

Rubin denied the allegations in a tweet. Google (GOOGL) has about 2,000 staff members across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

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Mike Clancy, general secretary of tech workers" union Prospect, said: "Sexual harassment is a serious problem in too many work places, including in the tech sector.

"I am deeply sorry for the past actions and the pain they have caused employees", Pichai wrote.

He added that employees "have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward".

Google says it supported the protest and admits in the past two years, 48 workers have been fired over sexual misconduct claims, but say none received payments.

But Thursday's walkout could signal that a significant number of the 94,000 employees working for Google and its corporate parent Alphabet Inc. remained unconvinced that the company is doing enough to adhere to Alphabet's own edict urging all employees to " do the right thing".

The huge payouts have been raising questions over whether Google has been taking workplace sexual harassment seriously.

Pichai indicated that Google wouldn't interfere with protest plans and would ensure that "you have the support you need".

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