Worldwide, from Singapore to London, hundreds of Google employees have been working today to protest the way the company deals with cross-border sexual behaviour. The immediate cause is the generous starting premium of almost 80 million euros that Andy Rubin, creator of the Android operating system, received after he was accused of sexual misconduct.
In London, Berlin, Haifa and Tokyo, among other things, Google employees came out on the streets. With their action they question the way in which Google deals with accusations of sexual misconduct. They demand changes.
About 500 employees from Google in the Irish capital broke the work for half an hour. The organizer said through the megaphone that the meeting was “in solidarity with all victims of sexual harassment or of bad treatment at our workplace”. In London about thirty employees were in front of Google’s office. “We are protesting to support our colleagues who were victims of cross-border behaviour and to demand that the perpetrators are not protected or compensated,” said Sam Dutton, a software developer.
— Ted (@TedOnPrivacy) November 1, 2018
The New York Times reported last week that Google had covered cases of sexual harassment in recent years involving senior executives, who were sometimes thanked with hefty fees. For example, according to the newspaper, Andy Rubin, who created Android, was dismissed in 2014 for sexual misconduct and Google is still paying him a fee of 90 million dollars. The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, wrote an e-mail to the staff after the newspaper article in which he said that the company had dismissed 48 employees in the past two years for sexual misconduct, including thirteen executives, without any severance pay. He assured that the group had changed and no longer tolerated inappropriate behaviour.