Google Fired 48 Staffers Over Sexual Misconduct in the Past 2 Years
The New York Times published a story that suggests Google has been protecting senior executives accused of sexual harassment. In response, the company's CEO said the tech giant has been taking a harder line against all employees found engaging in sexual misconduct.
Is Google doing enough to stop workplace sexual harassment?
On Thursday, The New York Times published a story that claims Google paid $90 million to Android founder Andy Rubin in his exit package -- even though he was forced to resign in 2014 over a credible sexual misconduct claim.
The report goes on to paint a picture of Google protecting senior executives accused of sexual harassment. Amit Singhal, a former head of Google search, also received an exit package paid in the millions after he resigned over allegations he groped an employee.
Google isn't denying all the claims in the report. On Thursday, company CEO Sundar Pichai and company vice president Eileen Naughton sent out an email to staffers that says: "Today's story in the New York Times was difficult to read."
However, Pichai and Naughton were quick to add that Google "is dead serious" about making the company a "safe and inclusive workplace."
The email -- which PCMag obtained through a company spokesperson -- gives a rundown of Google's recent efforts to stop sexual misconduct. It notes that during the past two years, Google has terminated 48 employees for sexual harassment. Thirteen of the employees were senior managers or above, and none of them received an exit package.
"We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action," reads the email. An updated Google policy also demands that company vice presidents and senior vice presidents disclose relationships with co-workers, regardless of "reporting line or presence of conflict."
That all said, the email makes no mention of Singhal and Rubin, both of whom left Google over two years ago. The New York Times' report suggests Google paid Rubin the huge exit package to prevent him from working at a competitor or disparaging the company through a wrongful termination suit.
Sam Singer, a spokesman for Rubin, told The New York Times that the Android founder left Google on his own accord and that he did not engage in sexual misconduct while employed at the company.