Markets

Google employees around the world have already begun walking out in protest

Google employees around the world have already begun walking out in protest

The demonstrations follow a New York Times report last week that said Google in 2014 gave a $90 million exit package to Andy Rubin after the then-senior vice president was accused of sexual harassment.

Google employees walk off the job to protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct claims, on November 1, 2018, in Mountain View, California.

Employees at the Boulder campus joined walkouts staged at offices from Tokyo and Singapore to London and NY, with more expected to do so in California. Per the NYT story, Rubin had multiple relationships with Google employees and "coerced" oral sex from an employee in 2013 - a claim that the company investigated and found credible.

Mr Rubin denies the allegations made against him.

"Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward", he said.

Thursday's protest will be a test of how effectively Pichai has managed to placate staff anger over the issue.

"We're walking out in support of those who've been harassed anywhere in the workplace, and to ensure that perpetrators are not rewarded and are not protected", Sam Dutton, a developer advocate at Google in London, told CNN. "None of these individuals received an exit package". Many employees were nervous to talk with CBS News and felt it was a big risk to protest.

Turkish prosecutors say Khashoggi was killed, dismembered in Saudi Istanbul consulate
A source close to the Saudi Royal Palace told CNN last week that the location of Khashoggi's body was not known to the Saudis. It suggested he had died in a " fist fight ". "He should not pave the way for a cover-up of my fiance's murder", she said.

"In two instances, it ousted senior executives, but softened the blow by paying them millions of dollars as they departed, even though it had no legal obligation to do so", the New York Times wrote.

"I think that sexual harassment and sexual misconduct is kind of the tip of the iceberg of the things that women deal with in a work environment where they are a minority", said Amelia Brunner, a software engineer who's been with Google for three years.

One aspect that the campaigners are keen to change is the forced use of arbitration within the company. On Tuesday another executive, Richard DeVaul, resigned.

Google Walkout For Real Change, an employee group, said that 47 offices worldwide are participating in the walkout. According to The Times, workers at Google's Tokyo offices will kick the protest off.

Top executives stressed to employees that the company is "dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace" in an email sent shortly after the Times investigation was published last week.

Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive, backed the walkouts and said it would support staff with concerns.