Sexual harassment can happen in any workplace, which is why every company needs to have set procedures in place for dealing with these situations. There are good and bad ways to handle sexual harassment claims in the workplace. In most cases, the offenders are reprimanded or even fired. But what if the offenders are fired and given million-dollar exit packages? Is that solving the problem?
Many employees at Google do not think so. Google is under fire for paying millions of dollars to male executives who sexually harassed co-workers, while keeping silent about the incidents. To show their disdain for this type of behavior, on November 1, thousands of Google employees across the county walked out of the office and carried signs in protest.
In New York, 3,000 people carried signs that said “O.K. Google, really?” In California’s Silicon Valley, thousands more chanted “Stand up! Fight back!” This scene played out in international cities as well, including London, Berlin, and Singapore.
The accusations were detailed in an article by The New York Times. In 2014, Andy Rubin left Google with a $90 million exit package. Google did not make it public that he had been accused of sexual misconduct. Two other senior executives were also accused of sexual misconduct. They were also asked to resign and given multi-million-dollar exit packages.
But why? Google had no obligation to do so. Given that these men broke the law, they did not have to be paid anything. But the tech giant did so to protect themselves. They covered up the harassment to avoid costly legal battles as well as keep the men from working for rival companies. It was a win-win for Google.
Google denies these claims. The company claimed that over the past two years, it fired 48 people for sexual harassment, and none received an exit package. Google employees are still simmering, especially women who claim they have been mistreated by Google over the years.
This led Google employees to stage the walkout. The organizers were prepared with a list of demands for the company. They asked that the private arbitration requirements in employment contracts end and that a report of sexual harassment incident is published. They also asked for an employee representative and chief diversity officer.
Contact a New York Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment in the office is not something that should be treated lightly. Rewarding employees for sexual misconduct by paying them millions of dollars is not an acceptable practice. It sets a bad example for the workplace and decreases employee morale.
If you have been harassed at work, do not suffer in silence. The experienced New York sexual harassment lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can file a claim against your employer and hold them responsible. Call (347) 464-8694 to schedule a free consultation.