Google sued on allegations of sexual misconduct cover-up

13 January, 2019, 05:32 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Google's being sued for paying millions of dollars to former execs accused of sexual harassment

The lawsuit cites a report in 2018 which alleged that Google had paid Andy Rubin an exit package totaling $90 million after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

Shareholders in Alphabet, the parent company of Google, have filed a lawsuit against the company over payouts made to former executives accused of sexual harassment.

Both lawsuits name the full board of Alphabet, which includes its co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, John Doerr, a venture capitalist, and Ram Shriram, one of its investors.

Large payouts to former executives accused of sexual harassment prompted a global walkout at Google previous year.

The lawsuit was filed in California's Superior Court, and said minutes from the board meeting demonstrate how the directors agreed to accept Rubin's resignation in exchange for a sizeable severance in order to "keep the matter quiet". "What we have asked for are a lot of changes in corporate governance at Google, and that is really the ultimate objective of this litigation".

In October, Google CEO Sundar Pichai issued a statement in the wake of the Rubin story, saying the company would be taking a much tougher stance when it comes to sexual harassment and misconduct allegations. "In this way, Alphabet and the Board were able to maintain optics and superficial compliance with its code of conduct, internal rules, and laws regarding sexual harassment". The suit not only seeks damages but also changes in the company's share structure and corporate governance.

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Mr Singhal was sacked from Uber Technologies in 2017 for failing to disclose the allegations he faced at the Mountain View, California-based company, where he was the longtime head of the powerful search division. Due to the handling of the body with sexual harassment in the company and with a data leak.

The lawsuit directly accuses the directors for their wrongful conduct which allowed such instances sexual harassment to proliferate and persist in the offices of Google.

Alphabet has not commented on the lawsuit.

One of the suits alleges Google suffered millions of dollars in damages in part from lost productivity when employees walked off the job in protest of the payouts to disgraced executives.

A similar lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan and Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund.

While both Rubin and Singhal have denied the allegations, Pichai penned a letter to Google employees ensuring them that the company was committed at becoming a workplace where employees felt safe.

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