Google Sacks Dozens For Sexual Harassment

Google boss Sundar Pichai has admitted that the company has fired 48 employees for sexual harassment over the past two years.

The admission from Pichai came in an email, in response to a New York Times article that alleged that Google had protected three senior executives from allegations of sexual misconduct, which allegedly included the father of Android Andy Rubin.

Rubin stepped down from his position as Android boss in 2013, and eventually left Google altogether in October 2014.

Sexual misconduct?

Rubin however has denied the sexual misconduct allegations and has said that the New York Times story contained ‘numerous inaccuracies,’ and wild exaggerations about his compensation.

In the email to the New York Times, Google’s Pichai and Eileen Naughton, Google’s VP for people operations, reportedly said that of the 48 people that were fired, 13 had been senior managers or held more senior posts.

Pichai said none of those employees received an exit package, and that staff could use internal tools to report cases of inappropriate behaviour anonymously.

“We are committed to ensuring that Google is a workplace where you can feel safe to do your best work, and where there are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately,” Pichai and Naughton wrote in the email, Reuters reported.

Sacked engineer

It should be remembered that Google has had some legal issues with internal staff in recent years.

In 2017 Google famously fired James Damore, the software engineer whose memo last year criticised the company’s diversity programme.

In January this year Damore sued Google for allegedly discriminating against conservative white males.

Damore accused the technology giant of “systematically” singling out, punishing and terminating employees whose views on diversity, social justice and gender bias differed from the majority view at Google.

Damore had reportedly said it was the inherent biological differences between men and women, more so than explicit discrimination that accounts for any gaps that might exist between the genders in the workplace.

And in February this year former Google employee Tim Chevalier hit the search engine giant with another lawsuit, in which he alleged he was fired for his liberal political activism whilst working for the company.

Chevalier’s lawsuit said that he identifies himself as a liberal and as “disabled, queer, and transgender.”

Chevalier alleged that Google staff frequently posted discriminatory and harassing comments about him on internal social forums.

Google of course is contesting this allegations.

Google is not the only firm to have to contend with these types of allegations.

Earlier this year court filings revealed that female staff at Microsoft in the United States had filed 238 gender discrimination and sexual harassment complaints between 2010 and 2016

Quiz: What do you know about Google?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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