200 Google workers will walk out on Thursday over sexual misconduct handling

The "Women's Walk" (as Google has named it) will occur in response to how the company handled sexual misconduct claims against one of its executives.

  • 48 people have been terminated from Google for sexual misconduct in the last two years.
  • 13 of those were senior management.
  • The highest-level senior manager manager accused—creator of the Android OS Andy Rubin—is the only one who received a $90-million "golden parachute".

Google has a bit of a PR problem on its hands. The exit of Android creator Andy Rubin in 2014 was accompanied by talk of his many relationships with other Google staffers, as well as the verified sexual misconduct incident that caused his removal. Google kept quiet about the misconduct, struck a $90-million exit deal with Rubin, and invested heavily in his next venture, The New York Times reports.

Google's co-founder Larry Page released a public statement at the time of Rubin's departure: "I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next. With Android he created something truly remarkable—with a billion-plus happy users."

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Andy Rubin, creator of the Android OS, has been accused of verified sexual misconduct.

Rubin is one of three Google execs who were made to leave the company after sexual misconduct cases were brought forward.

(Photo credit YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan's electronics giant Sony senior vice president Kunimasa Suzuki (L) shakes hands with Google's senior vice president Andy Rubin (R) as they unveil the company's new tablet PC 'S1' and 'S2', based on Google's Android OS in Tokyo on April 26, 2011.

For its part, Google has responded to the publicity over the event, and it will likely continue to do so until the crisis blows over.

"Today's story in the New York Times was difficult to read," they wrote. "We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action."

(Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired)

Founder and CEO of Essential Products Andy Rubin speaks onstage at WIRED Business Conference presented by Visa at Spring Studios on June 7, 2017 in New York City.

Still, in a quote from an article in Buzzfeed news, the pushback—and the impetus for the walkout—is palpable. "Personally, I'm furious," said one Google employee who requested anonymity. "I feel like there's a pattern of powerful men getting away with awful behavior towards women at Google‚ or if they don't get away with it, they get a slap on the wrist, or they get sent away with a golden parachute, like Andy Rubin. And it's a leadership of mostly men making the decisions about what kind of consequences to give, or not give."

The engineers who are planning the Thursday walkout are in various locations around the country.

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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