Last month, the New York Times released an article that revealed Google hid claims of sexual harassment and paid top executives large exit packages to remain silent about their misconduct. According to the article, one of the exit packages totaled over $90 million dollars.
Quickly following the report, employees in over 20 Google offices worldwide engaged in a walkout to protest the company’s sexual harassment and discrimination policies. Over 2,000 employees left their offices in Mountain View and San Francisco to take part in the event. Other cities with large number of protesters included Berlin, New York, Singapore, Tokyo and Zurich.
During the protests, Google employees chanted, carried signs and shared personal accounts of sexual harassment. They also read lists of demands over a loud speaker. Some of the protesters even met with leaders at Google in the days following the protests to discuss the demands.
Protesters received support from Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google. Prior to the protests, Pichai stated he was interested in the feedback protesters would generate to improve Google’s sexual harassment policies.
Following the protests, Google revealed its newly revised sexual harassment and discrimination policies. In a letter to Google employees, Pichai included a list of actions Google plans to take moving forward. Some of the actions included:
- Treating sexual harassment claims with more transparency.
- Offering better care to victims who come forward.
- Establishing a more respectful culture.
Google is not the only company that has struggled with handling sexual harassment claims. If you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment, consider speaking to an employment law attorney to discuss your options and help you get the justice you deserve.