Google Sued Over Payouts to Ex-Execs Accused of Sexual Harassment

Roman Schwartz
January 13, 2019

The lawsuit cites non-public evidence, minutes of the meeting Alphabet board meetings from 2014 and 2016, which were obtained via a shareholder inspection demand, where the board members discussed the situation at length. Allegations of sexual harassment against the two men were found to be credible by company investigations, according to the lawsuit. "While at Google, Rubin is also alleged to have engaged in human sex trafficking - paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to women to be, in Rubin's own words, "owned" by him".

Given CEO Sundar Pichai has already announced that there will be no more forced arbitrations, that last point may not be too necessary, and it may reach another sticking block on different ambitious aim: asking executives to return their exit packages.

Mr Singhal was sacked from Uber Technologies in 2017 for failing to disclose the allegations he faced at the Mountain View, California-based company, where he was the longtime head of the powerful search division.

Singhal stepped down as Uber's senior vice president of engineering in 2017 after the ride-hailing company discovered he'd allegedly been accused of sexual harassment while he was employed at Google.

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Shareholders have filed lawsuits against Alphabet, the parent company of Google, over allegations that the firm covered up claims of sexual misconduct against some of its top executives.

Google even went on to invest in Rubin's new Essential Phone company. The Times also reported another senior executive received a severance package in the millions after being accused of sexual misconduct, while another kept his highly-paid job. As Ellen Winick Stross, a member of Rubin's legal team told Reuters: "like much of the recent media coverage, mischaracterises Andy's departure from Google and sensationalises claims made about Andy by his ex-wife". It's also urging an end to so-called "dual class voting structure", which would reduce the power of Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. "Andy left Google voluntarily and, in the severance negotiations there was no mention of a harassment complaint".

In November, Google employees around the world staged a coordinated walkout to protest the company's handling of the sexual harassment allegations. "What we have asked for are a lot of changes in corporate governance at Google, and that is really the ultimate goal of this litigation".

Frank Bottini, an attorney representing one shareholder, said the lawsuit wanted to prompt action at the highest level in Alphabet.

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