Google employees walkout over handling of sexual misconduct

New York: Hundreds of Google employees in the city here walked out of the company’s Big Apple offices on Thursday as part of a global protest against the tech giant’s handling of sexual harassment cases.

The mobilisation followed a report in The New York Times saying that Android creator Andy Rubin received $90 million in severance when Google fired him in 2014 over accusations of sexual misconduct that the company deemed credible.

Thursday’s first protests took place at Google offices in Singapore, Tokyo and other Asian locations, spreading to European cities such as London, Berlin and Zurich as the day wore on, reports Efe.

After the reaction to the story in The Times, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sought to reassure employees about the company’s stand against sexual harassment.

“Over the past two years, we have terminated 48 people, including 13 senior managers and above for sexual harassment,” Pichai said.

“None of these people received an exit package. And to clarify: in that time, we have also not provided any exit packages to executives who departed voluntarily in the course of a sexual harassment investigation,” he added.

Organisers of #GoogleWalkout published a list of demands for management, including an “end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees” and a “clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.”