#MeToo Inspires Google Walkout

By Johana Bhuiyan and Sam Dean
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The walkouts came less than a week after The New York Times reported that in 2014, Google protected the reputation of Andy Rubin, who created the Android mobile operating system, after an employee accused him of coercing her into performing a sex act.

Los Angeles Times

At Google offices around the world, from Japan to Germany to Ireland and across the United States, waves of employees walked off the job and into the streets Thursday to protest how the company reportedly has handled sexual misconduct allegations.

It was an unprecedented show of solidarity among the company’s workers.

Thousands of Google employees from more than 40 offices joined together, calling for structural changes to address what organizers of the protest called a “culture of complicity, dismissiveness, and support for perpetrators in the face of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse of power.”

The walkouts came less than a week after The New York Times reported that in 2014, Google protected the reputation of Andy Rubin, who created the Android mobile operating system, after an employee accused him of coercing her into performing a sex act. Rubin has denied the allegation. The company found the allegation to be credible but kept it quiet and gave Rubin a $90-million exit package, the report said. It said other executives received similar protections.

Early this week, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai apologized for the Alphabet Inc. arm’s “past actions” and gave his blessing to the walkout plan. On Thursday, he agreed to take protesters’ ideas into consideration, though the company has not pledged any specific changes.

“It is nice that they support us,” said one of the walkout’s organizers, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals from Google. “But this isn’t about (public relations). This is about meeting our demands. And doing the work to ensure structural change. I’m not terribly interested in words of support.”

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