Google employees around the world walked out on the liberal company Thursday to protest a workplace culture that employees say has ignored sexual harassment and discrimination.
More than 1,000 of those employees were out of Google’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California.
The event quickly spread across social media with the hashtag #googlewalkout.
The walkout started over a New York Times investigation, which revealed years of sexual harassment allegations, multimillion-dollar severance packages for accused executives, and lack of transparency over the cases.
According to a report, Google stayed silent about sexual misconduct allegations against three executives over the past 10 years. This includes Android creator Andy Rubin, who left the company in 2014.
Investigations revealed that while Google has been heavily censoring conservative media, they also censored their own employees and covered up sexual misconduct reports.
Rubin was paid and estimated $90 million exit package upon his departure from the company.
Depsite the fact that there was rock hard evidence that Rubin had an affair with a woman he coerced into performing oral sex on him, he dnied the allegtions.
Google X director, Richard DeVaul, resigned from his position at the end of October 2018 after he sexually harrased a victim duting a job interview.
Female employees have stated that, in many instances, after allegations were reported, Google’s human resources department told the victim’s that it would be determined if the accused was “more important” than the accuser before any action would be taken.
Google currently has a mandatory-arbitration clauses written into its employee contracts.
Organizers of the walkout want the clause removed.
Organizers of the walkout published a letter and demanded that the left leaning company rewrite the contracts to make it safer for women to report instances of sexual harassment. Organizers also demand more transparency.
The letter makes no mention about protection for men.
The letter reads as follows:
Today at 11:10 a.m. in every time zone in which the protest is taking place, employees at nearly two thirds of Google’s global offices are walking out of their offices. We, the seven core organizers of today’s Google Walkout, are proud to stand with thousands of Google employees in our call to demand change.
All employees and contract workers across the company deserve to be safe. Sadly, the executive team has demonstrated through their lack of meaningful action that our safety is not a priority. We’ve waited for leadership to fix these problems, but have come to this conclusion: no one is going to do it for us. So we are here, standing together, protecting and supporting each other. We demand an end to the sexual harassment, discrimination, and the systemic racism that fuel this destructive culture.
We are building on the work of others. Many at Google have been advocating for structural change for years. It’s their legacy and leadership that made this moment possible. We are a small part of a massive movement that has been growing for a long time. We are inspired by everyone from the women in fast food who led an action against sexual harassment to the thousands of women in the #metoo movement who have been the beginning of the end for this type of abuse.
So today, over 60 percent of all Google offices, and thousands of Google employees will walk out, around the world.
All employees protesting today are united in calling for these changes:
An end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees, along with a right for every Google worker to bring a co-worker, representative, or supporter of their choosing when meeting with HR, especially when filing a harassment claim.
A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity, for example making sure there are women of color at all levels of the organization, and accountability for not meeting this commitment. This must be accompanied by transparent data on the gender, race and ethnicity compensation gap, across both level and years of industry experience, accessible to all Google and Alphabet employees and contractors. Such data must include, but not be limited limited to: information on relative promotion rates, under-leveling at hire, the handling of leaves, and inequity in project and job ladder change opportunities. The methods by which such data was collected and the techniques by which it was analyzed and aggregated must also be transparent.
A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report, including: the number of harassment claims at Google over time and by product area; the types of claims submitted; how many victims and accused have left Google; any exit packages and their worth.
A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously. The process today is not working, in no small part because HRs’ performance is assessed by senior management and directors, forcing them to put management’s interests ahead of employees reporting harassment and discrimination. The improved process should also be accessible to all: full-time employees, temporary employees, vendors, and contractors alike. Accountability, safety and an ability to report unsafe working conditions should not be dictated by employment status.
Promote the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Directors. In addition, appoint an Employee Representative to the Board. Both the CDO and the Employee Representative should help allocate permanent resources for demands 1-4 and other equity efforts, ensure accountability to these demands, and propose changes when equity goals are not met.
A company is nothing without its workers. From the moment we start at Google we’re told that we aren’t just employees; we’re owners. Every person who walked out today is an owner, and the owners say: Time’s up.