Larry Page must address harassment: Google workers

Last Updated: Thu, May 09, 2019 11:00 hrs
Google walkout

San Francisco: After staging a global walkout and sit-in protest against workplace harassment, Google employees now demand that parent company Alphabet's CEO Larry Page must immediately meet them and publicly address their concerns.

In a post on online publishing platform Medium, the group "Google Walkout For Real Change" said the company has had six months to meet these demands.

"In that time, they've partially met only one of them. Not only that, but the company has begun retaliating against some of the Walkout organisers," the group said on Wednesday.

Last November, nearly 20,000 Google employees across the world walked out following the company's mishandling of sexual harassment allegations.

"The walkout was a turning point: a moment where Googlers called on the company to do right by its people. We issued a clear, articulate, and actionable set of demands," the group added.

"Larry controls Alphabet's board and has the individual authority to make changes, where others do not.

"Google seems to have lost its mooring, and trust between workers and the company is deeply broken.

"As the company progresses from crisis to crisis, it is clear Google management is failing, along with HR. It's time to put HR on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) and bring in someone we trust to supervise it. It's time to escalate," the group warned.

Google employees also staged a sit-in protest at the IT major's offices across the world on May 1.

Two Google employees, Claire Stapleton and Meredith Whittaker who helped organise the walkout in November, faced trouble for their action.

"We call on Google to unblock Meredith's transfer, and allow her to continue her work as before, fully funded and supported, and to allow Claire to transfer to a new team without continued retaliation and interference," the group demanded.

Google employees also called for a transparent, open investigation of HR and its "abysmal handling of employee complaints related to working conditions, discrimination, harassment and retaliation".

"Google's HR department is broken. Over and over again it prioritizes the company and the reputation of abusers and harassers over their victims. The collateral damage is all around us. Time is up. We need third party investigators. Even Uber did this," the group wrote.

A Google spokesperson referred to an earlier statement, saying: "We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy.

"To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation."