Google Sexual-Misconduct Protesters Notch Victory, But It’s Not Complete

By Ethan Baron
The Mercury News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The internal employee revolt was sparked in part by news that Andy Rubin, considered the father of Google’s Android operating system, had received a $90 million golden parachute while being ushered out the door in 2014 over a claim that he’d forced an employee into sexual activity, a claim Rubin has denied.

The Mercury News

Google released a new policy Thursday ending forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault, satisfying a key demand of protesters angry over its response to sexual misconduct in the workplace. But the company did not agree to all the rebel Googlers’ demands.

Issuance of the new policy followed unprecedented public acts of defiance that saw thousands of Google employees worldwide walk off their jobs last week.

According to Google’s new policy, arbitration in sexual harassment and sexual assault cases will now be optional.

That gives aggrieved employees the right to sue and air a dispute in a public court process, an outcome that large companies increasingly seek to avoid through arbitration agreements.

“We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a letter to employees. “It’s clear we need to make some changes.”

The internal employee revolt was sparked in part by news that Andy Rubin, considered the father of Google’s Android operating system, had received a $90 million golden parachute while being ushered out the door in 2014 over a claim that he’d forced an employee into sexual activity, a claim Rubin has denied.

The New York Times reported that Google protected three executives from accountability for sexual misconduct.

Google responded that it’s fired 48 employees for sexual harassment in the past two years, giving none of them severance.

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