Google employees are holding walkouts today to protest the company’s approach to sexual misconduct
It’s been just over a year since the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements took hold in America, and it feels as though many workplaces have experienced a genuine impact. Google is no exception. Today, November 1st, employees of the tech giant are holding a Google Walkout to protest the way the company has covered up sexual misconduct allegations in the past.
On October 25th, The New York Times reported that over the past 10 years, the company has covered up allegations against three executives. Two of these men received millions of dollars in severance pay, while the third remained with Google in a highly-paid position. One of these men, Android creator Andy Rubin, received $90 million over four years after facing accusations that he coerced a female employee to perform oral sex on him.
In response to this report, employees Claire Stapleton, Tanuja Gupta, Meredith Whittaker, Celie O’Neil-Hart, Stephanie Parker, Erica Anderson, and Amr Gaber planned the Google Walkout. In an article for The Cut, they listed their five demands: an end to forced arbitration in sexual misconduct cases, pay and opportunity equity, a sexual harassment transparency report, a safe and clear procedure to report sexual misconduct, and permission for the Chief Diversity Officer to make recommendations to the Board of Directors. They also requested that an employee representative sit on the board.
in The Cut, the organizers wrote that 60% of Google employees worldwide are participating in today’s walkout. The protests began (or will begin) at 11:10 a.m. in each time zone.
"A company is nothing without its workers," the organizers concluded their article. "From the moment we start at Google we’re told that we aren’t just employees; we’re owners. Every person who walked out today is an owner, and the owners say: Time’s up."
According to BuzzFeed News, Google CEO Sundai Pichai told staff in an email that he supported the walkouts.
"Some of you have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies going forward…I’m taking in all of your feedback so we can turn these ideas into action," two sources told BuzzFeed the email said.
We stand in solidarity with all those participating in the Google Walkout today, and we hope it fosters a real change in the company’s culture and accountability.