Google staff protest over sexual harassment

The Google protest is billed Walkout For Real Change

Employees of Google and its parent company Alphabet staged a mass protest across the globe on Thursday, after a New York Times article revealed the company had offered generous severance packages for executives credibly accused of sexual assault.

On the Twitter account for @GoogleWalkout, there's a list of demands from employees, including putting an end to private arbitration in instances of sexual harassment and assault. "None of these individuals received an exit package". A Google employee tweeted a photo from inside one of Google's four locations within London.

While Mr Pichai said the Rubin incident was from "a few years ago" and Google had changed, he said the company was "committed to doing better". Hundreds of women and men filed out of Google's office in New York City and silently walked around the block for about 10 minutes around 11:00 a.m. ET.

With that as a catalyst, Google workers want the company to know that they deserve a safe and equitable workplace.

Keni Herman carried a sign that said "My outrage can't fit on this sign". Google has given us so much and we recognize the opportunities, but that does not excuse bad behavior. "And I expect that from the company, too".

The walkout started in Google's Asian offices in Singapore and India at 11:10 AM local time, spreading to London, Dublin, and NY at the appointed hour.

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They're calling for an end to pay inequality, sexual assault transparency, an across-the-board reporting policy for sexual misconduct, a diversity officer, and an employee to be included on the board.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff he supports their right to take the action.

One employee spoke on why she believes the walkouts are so important.

"There are cracks, though, and this is why we're here", she said. "We need to support those people, and not just the ones at our company".

DeVaul's departure comes as Google grapples with reports that it gave some executives multimillion dollar payouts despite allegations of sexual harassment against them. Rubin has said the Times story "contains numerous inaccuracies" and that the allegations are false.

The same story also disclosed allegations of sexual misconduct of other executives, including Richard DeVaul, a director at the same Google-affiliated lab that created far-flung projects such as self-driving cars and internet-beaming balloons.

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