Tech Talks: Google Walkout Makes a Strong Statement


In a massive protest against sexual harassment and discrimination, Google employees around the world recently staged work walkouts. The November 1st demonstration was more widespread than the historic September 10th city strike by McDonald’s workers.

The catalyst for the demonstration was a New York Times article that detailed years of sexual harassment allegations along with huge severance packages for accused executives. In one highly-publicized example, a top executive who was accused of sexual misconduct received a severance package of $90 million along with public praise when he left the company. 

The protests began in Asia and spread to many offices including San Francisco and New York City. All together 20,000 workers, representing about 20% of Google’s workforce, participated in 50 cities. Many female and male employees assembled and spoke out about sexual harassment. Many of them chanted “Women’s rights are worker’s rights.” 

In a show of support, Google CEO Sundar Pichai condoned the demonstration in an internal email, assuring employees that they would have the support they needed in order to participate and that managers would be aware of these activities.

Walkout Organizers Demand Change

The organizers of the Google protest communicated via New York Magazine that they are demanding concrete action from the company. Their demands include:

  • An end to forced arbitration in harassment cases

  • Commitment to end pay and opportunity inequality because of gender, race and ethnicity

  • A global process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously

  • A publicly-released transparency report regarding sexual harassment at the company

  • The appointment of a Google employee representative to the board of directors

  • Elevation of the chief diversity officer to directly report to the CEO and be able to make recommendations to the board of directors 

Google and other Silicon Valley companies have been shaken in recent years by allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. The firms have also been accused of a corporate culture that allows gender and racial discrimination in hiring, promotions and pay. 

In the days ahead, based in no small part on this historic protest as well as support at the company’s top levels, Google must address the problems and consider the employee demands. Stay tuned for updates on this important issue. 

Let Us Know If You Have Been Sexually Harassed at Work

If you or a family member has experienced bullyingsexual assaultsexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultationAttorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Roseland, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.