Google Employees Say They Faced Retaliation After Organizing Walkout
“Only after I hired a lawyer and had her contact Google did management conduct an investigation and walked back my demotion, at least on paper,” Ms. Stapleton wrote in the letter. “While my work has been restored, the environment remains hostile and I consider quitting nearly every day.”
“We prohibit retaliation in the workplace, and investigate all allegations,” a Google spokeswoman said. “Employees and teams are regularly and commonly given new assignments, or reorganized, to keep pace with evolving business needs. There has been no retaliation here.”
The letter was earlier reported by Wired.
In October, The Times reported that Google had provided a $90 million exit package to Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile operating system, after an accusation of sexual harassment against him was found to be credible. The lavish payment after the misconduct outraged Google’s employees. The company’s top executives later apologized and revealed they had fired 48 people for sexual harassment over the past two years, with none receiving an exit package.
But the apologies did not calm employees’ disquiet. Ms. Stapleton and Ms. Whittaker, along with other colleagues, called for employees to walk out of the company for a day in protest. At the time, Ms. Stapleton said in an interview that The Times article had “turned the lights on on the bias, discrimination and systemic inequality women and other groups experience very viscerally at Google.”
On Nov. 1, about 20,000 Google employees left work in locations across the world, including Berlin, Chicago, London, Seattle, Singapore, Zurich and Hyderabad, India, as well as the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Some carried signs that said, “O.K. Google, really?” and chanted: “Stand up! Fight back!” Some of the employees talked publicly about how they also faced sexual harassment at work.