Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Google Sued Over Attempt To Hide Sexual Misconduct In Workplace

Google Sued Over Attempt To Hide Sexual Misconduct In Workplace

A Google shareholder sued the board of directors and senior management of its parent company Alphabet Inc on Thursday, alleging that they approved enormous severance packages to cover up an environment of sexual misconduct, The New York Times reported.

It also alleges that the co-founders gave sexual misconduct accused Andy Rubin a "hero's farewell" with a Dollars 90 million exit package.

Martin said in the suit Alphabet failed shareholders by attempting to cover up the misconduct and doling out golden parachutes for the accused. "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".

The suit says the board found the harassment allegations to be credible, but allowed Rubin to resign quietly with the $90 million severance package to "ensure his silence" and avoid a wrongful termination lawsuit that would have resulted in negative publicity about alleged harassment within the company. Rubin, Singhal and Drummond are all named as defendants in the suit, along with numerous Alphabet officers and board members.

Back in October, a female employee accused the Alphabet executive of forcing her to have sex with him. It is stated that while working at Google, Rubin was paying money to women that they "belonged to him".

The cases-James Martin v. Lawrence Page et al and Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan v. John Hennessey et al-were both filed in San Mateo County Superior Court.

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.

"There has been substantial evidence of sexual harassment at Google, and yet there hasn't been the appropriate follow-through", said Renne.

"This lawsuit, like much of the recent media coverage, mischaracterizes Andy's departure from Google and sensationalizes claims made about Andy by his ex-wife", Ellen Winick Stross, a lawyer for Mr Rubin, said in a statement sent late on Thursday.

In November, Google employees around the world staged a coordinated walkout to protest the company's handling of the sexual harassment allegations. "Andy left Google voluntarily".

In the civil complaint, Martin and his lawyers also accused Google of an egregious double-standard, echoing a complaint raised by frustrated workers who led and participated in a massive worldwide walkout late previous year.

Employee organizers said they welcomed the lawsuits as they continue to push for further changes, including an employee representative on Alphabet's board.

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