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Google Employees In Pittsburgh And Around The World Walk Out

google_signs.jpg
Kathleen J. Davis
/
90.5 WESA
Two employees of Google's Pittsburgh office hold signs during the Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 walkout.

About 150 Google employees and contractors walked out of the company's Pittsburgh office today in protest of the tech giant's alleged mishandling of sexual misconduct accusations.

The group marched around Bakery Square for about 20 minutes before heading back inside. People who walked out held signs that said things including "Believe Women" and "Not OK Google."

Walkouts took place at Google offices around the world, including New York, Dublin and Tokyo. They unfolded a week after a New York Times story detailed allegations of sexual misconduct about the creator of Google's Android software, Andy Rubin. The report said Rubin received a $90 million severance package in 2014 after Google concluded the sexual misconduct allegations against him were credible.

Rubin denied the allegations in a tweet.

The same story also disclosed allegations of sexual misconduct against other executives, including Richard DeVaul, a director at the Google-affiliated lab that created such projects as self-driving cars and internet-beaming balloons. DeVaul had remained at the "X'' lab after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced about him a few years ago, but he resigned Tuesday without severance, Google said.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai apologized for the company's "past actions" in an email sent to employees Tuesday.

"I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel," Pichai wrote. "I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society ... and, yes, here at Google, too."

The email didn't mention the reported incidents involving Rubin, DeVaul or anyone else at Google, but Pichai didn't dispute anything in the Times story.

Pichai indicated that Google wouldn't interfere with protest plans and would ensure that "you have the support you need."

In an email last week, Pichai and Eileen Naughton, Google's executive in charge of personnel issues, sought to reassure employees that the company had cracked down on sexual misconduct since Rubin's departure four years ago.

Among other things, Pichai and Naughton said Google had fired 48 employees , including 13 senior managers, for sexual harassment in recent years without giving any of them severance packages.

Kathleen J. Davis covers news about just about anything at WESA. She’s also the primary reporter and producer of WESA’s weekly series Pittsburgh Tech Report. Kathleen originally hails from the great state of Michigan, and is always available to talk about suburban Detroit and Coney Island diners. She lives in Bloomfield.
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