October 26, 2018

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Sexual harassment

Google sexual harassment claims: Firm under the spotlight over treatment of employees

A New York Times exposé of former Google Executive Andy Rubin’s alleged sexual misconduct has prompted Google to reveal that 48 employees have been sacked over sexual harassment claims since 2016.

CEO Sundar Pichai and Vice-President Eileen Naughton yesterday published an email to employees to stress the serious way in which they deal with claims of sexual harassment at Google, whilst underlining their aim to to ensure 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.”

Of the 48 employees dismissed, 13 have been senior managers, making the prospect of speaking out a daunting one for victims. To combat this, Google has promised a hard-ine approach to tackling perpetrators as well as launching confidential channels for employees to report instances of sexual misconduct. In addition, the company is determined to ensure that all investigations into such claims are conducted with transparency. In 2015 Google launched [email protected] and an annual Internal Investigations Report to support this process.

Earlier this month, SHP reported that bullying and sexual harassment in the House of Commons has ‘been known about and tolerated for far too long’, while only this week MPs warned that sexual harassment in public had become ‘relentless’.

Discrimination of women

The tech industry has come under heavy criticism for discrimination of women and countless cases of sexual harassment of employees, including by those in the top positions.

The New York Times reports that three senior executives within Google have been guilty of ‘inappropriate’ actions and that Google had “stayed silent about the accusations against the men”. In doing so, “Google protected its own interests and avoided messy and costly legal fights”, protecting their own reputation rather than the employees who fell victim.

Furthermore, it undermines Google’s claim that they take a hard line approach on “inappropriate conduct”, which threatens the safety of female employees.

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