Alphabet, Inc., parent company of Google, is facing a lawsuit over allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Shareholders decided to sue directors of the company after Andy Rubin (the creator of Android and former Google employee) was granted a $90 million severance payment.
The investors who are part of the suit claim that Alphabet’s board of directors not only allowed harassment to occur, but also took measures to keep it private.
Claims that Rubin sexually harassed employees were found to be credible, and shareholders are targeting some of the top executives who tried to keep Rubin’s behavior quiet; these executives include Larry Page, Sergey Brin, John Doerr, Ram Shriram, and David Drummond.
In light of Rubin’s actions and the subsequent coverup, thousands of employees at Google protested via a walkout. This action by employees did cause the management to change some of its policies, including those regarding sexual misconduct in the workplace.
A statement from one of the employees who was an integral part of the walkout reveals that Google employees support the shareholders and their lawsuit. The employee also stated “Anyone who enables abuse, harassment and discrimination must be held accountable, and those with the most power have the most to account for.”
There is also speculation that another former Google employee, Amit Singhal, sexually harassed others in the workplace. Like Rubin, he quietly left the company with a large severance package.
After the allegations against Rubin were found to be credible, a shareholder filed a complaint with Google’s audit and compensation committees. Among others on these committees were Page and Brin.
Rubin’s lawyer, Ellen Winick Stross, made a statement saying that the claims against Rubin are sensationalized and that he does not admit to any sexual misconduct.
While shareholders are suing Google for the mishandling of the sexual misconduct, Google admitted to releasing 48 people due to sexual harassment without offering any severance packages.
Because the lawsuit is being filed by Google shareholders, any money won will go back to Google. The point of the lawsuit is to force a change in the company at the corporate level. The name of the case is Martin v. Page, 19-cv-00164, California Superior Court, San Mateo County (Redwood City).