News & Politics

Google Workers Launch Global Protest Amid Sexual Assault Payout Scandal

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.

Starting in Asia, spreading across Europe, and moving to the United States, Google employees walked out in protest, Bloomberg reported. Photos with the hashtag “#GoogleWalkout” flooded Twitter as employees took to the streets in Zurich (Switzerland), Dublin (Ireland), Singapore, London (England), and Hyderabad (India). In the U.S., walkouts began around 11:10 a.m. in New York and Atlanta.

Google Walkout For Real Change, an employee group, said that 47 offices worldwide are participating in the walkout.

The New York Times reported that Google gave millions of dollars to executives in secret exit packages after they were accused of sexual assault. Perhaps the most egregious case involved Andy Rubin, creator of the Android mobile software, who was given a $90 million exit package after the company verified a sexual assault claim against him.

Rubin insisted that he “never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. Also, I am deeply troubled that anonymous Google executives are commenting about my personnel file and misrepresenting the facts.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai joined its vice president of people operations, Eileen Naughton, in reassuring staff that the company was “dead serious” about ensuring it provided a “safe and inclusive workplace,” Bloomberg reported. They added that Google had fired 48 people without pay for sexual misconduct over the past two years.

Protesters flooded the streets regardless.

RTE News’s Will Goodbody shared a video from Dublin.

The BBC’s Dave Lee shared a photo from Singapore.

Ted, a privacy engineer at Google, shared a photo from the Zurich walkout.

One of the protesters in New York even dressed as a unicorn.

CNBC’s Jillian D’Onfro shared a list of demands surrounding sexual misconduct.

Shannon Coulter shared another photo from the New York protest.

Some employees who were working from home on Thursday even staged separate walkouts in solidarity. Liz Fong-Jones posted a photo from Thailand.

This poster also expressed the concerns well.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.