By David Meyer
November 1, 2018

Thousands of Google employees are walking out of their offices Thursday in protest at the company’s treatment of sexual harassment allegations. The walkout, which has management’s approval, comes in the wake of press reports about Google shielding or paying off senior executives who engaged in serious misconduct.

Those participating in the walkout have several demands: an employee representative on the board, safer and more effective systems for reporting harassment, public disclosure of harassment statistics, more equality of pay and opportunity, and an end to the forced arbitration clauses that make suing the company over harassment impossible.

According to the Guardian, those walking out are leaving flyers on their desks that read: “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out in solidarity with other Googlers and contractors to protest [against] sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.”

The walkouts are taking place in Zurich…

Singapore…

London…

Dublin…

Berlin…

Tokyo…

And Haifa…

“Women are fed up, and I don’t think it’s just women,” Haas School of Business professor Kellie McElhaney told the BBC “There are a lot of ‘manbassadors’ out there who are equally as fed up and using their positions of power and voice, which can cost Google money. I think you have to hit these companies where it hurts.”

The main catalyst for the protest was a report last week that said Android creator Andy Rubin received a $90 million severance package from Google following an accusation that he forced an employee to perform oral sex on him—an accusation that Google hid for years. Google has since said that 13 senior managers were fired over the last couple years in connection with sexual harassment claims, though none received payoffs.

Just this week, another top executive was shown the door: Rich DeVaul, a director at Alphabet’s X research business, who behaved inappropriately with a female engineer he was interviewing for a job.

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