Thousands of Google employees across numerous Google offices walked out in protest of the company’s response to harassment and misconduct. The protests were prompted by a report in the New York Times that claimed Google had paid millions in exit packages to male executives accused of misconduct while staying silent about their abuses. Google leadership apologized and also revealed that 48 people had been fired for sexual harassment over the last two years without exit packages.
- Do new tech companies face as much sexual harassment as legacy companies?
- Is it a company’s right to pay off a suspected harasser to avoid lawsuits?
- Which industry faces more sexual misconduct?
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Thousands of Google employees at the company’s headquarters walked out of work on Thursday to protest sexual misconduct. Many brought signs that included slogans like “End Rape Culture,” “Don’t be evil,” “Equality for all,” “Hey Google, WTF?” and “I deserve to feel safe @ work.”
Similar protests took place at numerous Google offices worldwide. The Thursday protests, which featured testimonials by people who say that they suffered harassment and misconduct at the company and were not taken seriously by their superiors, marked one of the most visible instances of Silicon Valley workers protesting in recent years.
Protestors were galvanized by a recent New York Times report that chronicled three top company executives who have received massive payouts over the past decade despite being credibly accused of sexual misconduct.
On Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent out an email to employees apologizing for the company’s inadequate response. He also wrote that the company would take a “much harder line on inappropriate behavior.”