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Google employees are leaving work in protest of handling of harassment and discrimination...

By Greg S · 21 replies
Nov 1, 2018
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  1. After Google employees were made aware that Andy Rubin received a hefty severance package upon his departure for inappropriate conduct, chaos has ensued. Starting in Asia, hundreds of employees left work in protest of company policies.

    Today, more than 1,500 Googlers plan to take a break during the work day to show their dissatisfaction. Employees have come up with a list of five demands that have been posted to an Instagram page linked to the protest.

    1. An end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.

    2. A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.

    3. A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.

    4. A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.

    5. Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Directors. In addition, appoint an Employee Representative to the Board.

    Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has previously stated that "employees have raised constructive ideas," and that Google has been "taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action."

    One of the leaders of the protest is Claire Stapleton, a product marketing manager for YouTube. In a statement to the New York Times, she says, "We don’t want to feel that we’re unequal or we’re not respected anymore." In her views Google is "not even meeting the basics of respect, justice and fairness for every single person here."

    Out of Googles 94,000 global employees, around 31 percent are women. Approximately 26 percent of those with executive titles are women. For many employees of Google, these numbers are still deemed unsatisfactory.

    For those participating in the walk out, a flyer has been created that is intended to be left at empty work spaces.

    The walk out is intended to begin around 11am local time for each Google office. According to Stapleton, it is up to each employee whether they want to return to work or not following their protest. So far, no official response has been given from Google about what might change or whether employees will be free from punitive actions for leaving work during their regular working hours.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MaXtor

    MaXtor TS Maniac Posts: 248   +189

    The fact that more men work in technology jobs than women is not inequality. Men in general are more interested in things (technology, etc), women in general are more interested people (health care, etc). This is why you see more female nurses and doctors than male nurses and doctors. It's not inequality in health care either, it's just a difference of interests in genders that the left refuses to accept. Women and men are not equal and never will be, they are different, they should have equal opportunity, not equal outcome. Look no further than Scandinavia to see what happens when you remove all social "inequality," what happened is men and women's biological differences were pushed center stage and became even more apparent.
  3. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 602   +1,211

    Indeed. The last time I looked as little as 9% of nurses were male. Either many healthcare occupations are rife with 3-4x more "chronic occupational misandry" than the tech industry is misogynist, or a large chunk of Google employees are brainless half-wits struggling to cope with reality that different people are drawn to different things in unequal numbers...
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,824   +2,174

    When you made this political, you lost it, IMO.

    Cite facts from studies. Until you do, what you have done is express your opinion, and nothing more.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,824   +2,174

    To me, the conditions requested by the employees seem completely reasonable.

    However, the stats on employee diversity are just that, stats. They show no evidence that there is outright discrimination. For example, a case where there was a male candidate and a female candidate that were both equally qualified, however, a decision to hire either was based on a gender stereotype such as "women always take time off to have babies". With such evidence, they might have a case in court.

    IMO, the best qualified candidates are the ones that should be hired regardless of any facets that could be considered discriminatory.
    orondf likes this.
  6. Did they make those fliers on company time using Google equipment I wonder?
    Theinsanegamer and kombu like this.
  7. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Guru Posts: 324   +256

    I've been on a hiring committee where a less qualified woman was hired. Almost certainly because she was a woman (though that was never said -- because that is illegal under federal discrimination laws).

    A problem exists when not enough women (or other minority) is in the workplace. There is some truth behind microaggressions and other types of inappropriate behavior. It's more organic than anything the company directly condones. For example, men are more likely to talk about more masculine (and controversial) things if they are in an environment that allows it.

    If I were the people on these walkouts I'd be afraid of shadow firing. Google is one of the most attractive employers and there are always people ready to take their place. Google doesn't want high turnover but I wouldn't be surprised if they'd know how to target the most vocal critics and find any legal excuse to get rid of them.
  8. MaXtor

    MaXtor TS Maniac Posts: 248   +189

    I didn't make it political, it is political. I thought I was posting commonsense. Classical liberals, libertarians, and republicans don't deny and in fact acknowledge the differences in biological genders. The far left believe these differences are not biological and can be eliminated by policy. This is simply not true. Research Sweden, the country which has gone further than any other country in the world to eliminate social inequality. The results, even more unequal outcome. America has it right, recognize people not based on their skin color or gender, but as individuals and offer equal opportunity.

    Why do most insurance companies charge male drivers more than female drivers?.. because men are statistically more likely to speed and have accidents resulting in a fatality. No one argues this. Part of the reason for the gender pay gap is that women, more often than men take time off to raise children. To me, it makes sense for an employer or an insurance company to consider those facts. When a man and woman both work the same exact hours, for the same number of years, in the exact same field, you see the pay gap almost eliminated.

    When you have a half hour to spare, I think you'll find this interview interesting:
  9. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,761   +1,152

    I'm sorry but I find this extremely unproductive and going completely against what they are trying to achieve. So should women get hired because there are not enough and then get an edge because they are women?? Ridiculous. I mean 31% in such a short time is already a huge change to 10 or 20 years ago in tech, some things simply have to evolve, and it should be based on merit and not just because there is a gap in the numbers that needs to be filled.
    orondf and Evernessince like this.
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,902   +3,346

    Yep. Out of all my CS classes in college, there were only a handful of women total. Many individual classes had 0. You can't hire what doesn't exist.
  11. PcePce

    PcePce TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +25

    Virtue-signalling addicts
  12. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,526   +1,737

    You know, I was going to write up a whole thing on how micro aggression are only an issue for snoflakes that cant handle the real world, but I think I'm just going to leave this here:

    Women finding employment isnt difficult today, 47% of the workforce in the US is female. "not enough women in the workplace" is an urban myth. Women are simply not interested in STEM, they never have been, and they likely never will, because the female brain is wired differently then the male brain.

    And also, minorities not being employed is a direct result of them very rarely being qualified for much of anything beyond menial work (an effect I have observed directly over the years trying to hire people) which is a direct result of them not often taking advantage of the educational opportunities the state offers them, which is a direct result of their culture, which is incredibly hostile to education and authority. Minorities that do well in school are relentlessly bullied and suffer from targeted harassment from their peers, while skipping school or weeks at a time, disrespect to teachers and parents, joining gangs, and vandalism of property are encouraged by their peers.

    Until that culture changes, minorities will still struggle to be hired in higher education fields, and they are the only ones that can change said culture.

    They SHOULD be afraid of being fired, and rightly so. They are not unionized, they have no right to picket lines or strikes. Especially considering they are protesting something ridiculous like severance packages for laid off employees (that google does not have the evidence to fire).

    All the people protesting right now? Google could fire every single one of them and not lose any actual talent, because the guys (and girls) who know what they are doing are too busy to get roped up in "muh feelz" protests. They are busy actually working. People like this, who protest over banal garbage, are the ones that cause nothing but trouble and are not useful to a corporation.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    senketsu likes this.
  13. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 656   +633

    Why are people focusing solely on representation, which Techspot added, when the protesters themselves say that it's about "sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency and a workplace culture that's not working for everyone"?

    I don't know if anyone on these forums sees the irony that this is a Tech news site, and the second women come up in a story everyone jumps on it - when 9 times out of 10 the story is about women's treatment in the Tech sector.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  14. well the second point of their manifesto is:
    "2. A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity."
    I would think a part of 'opportunity inequity' is representation
  15. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,761   +1,152

    Some things leave open space for discussion, other's don't. In this case, what they are requesting is something that needs to happen and at least myself, can't comment anything other than "should happen and good for everyone", however that comment won't add anything. On the other hand, and something of focus is the numbers and "misrepresentation", that can spark a lot of comments (As clearly seen already). That's it.
  16. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Guru Posts: 324   +256

    The two are strongly interconnected. The more women, especially in management positions, the less likely there will be a culture of sexual harassment and misconduct.

    I see why you'd like to talk about the other specific issues addressed, and they should be addressed, but it needs to be put in context. Unfortunately, that context sparks a political debate.
  17. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Guru Posts: 324   +256

    This is one long political screed. Some of it reflects reality (see Larry Summer's debacle) but most of what you said is just alt-right talking points. The labor stats don't show what you're saying either. 'leaving them' is pointless. Those stats are meant to empower women -- I find it interesting that, stripped of context, you are trying to use them to ignore trends and persistent problems.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  18. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,496   +514

    Google employees are not allowed to call the police when harassed per their contract, seems insane to me.

    Example: What if some big guy at work grabbed your *** and said "I want to f you". Yes you the man or women reading this. Under googles contract you cannot contact the police. The next day he stuffs his hands down your pants and touches your butt hole. You contact HR. Nothing happens, this goes on multiple people report him, he is found guilty in "googles court". Then is let go with a 65 million dollar payout. You are not allowed under contract to reveal any details publicly.

    That is what has happened at google. Or maybe it was just verbal idk but you can see how messed up that is. You do not have the right under your contract to contact the police. You are not allowed under contract to reveal any details publicly.

    2. A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.
    Is a separate issue. And should really not be the focus....
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  19. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,824   +2,174

    Any chance you have a copy of the contract? It sounds outright illegal that gagme could put that in a contract. From the last response at this link - https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can-I-fail-a-police-report-on--sexual-harassment---1478919.html - there are jurisdictions where it, the sexual harassment that you describe, IS illegal where ever it occurs, and police can and should, IMO, be called. If the employer is notified about it, and does nothing, then they could open themselves up for a civil suit.

    As I think about it, it seems common sense that nothing any employer can write in a contract can legally supersede the law, and that makes me think that what you have heard about them being able to write that in a contract is blatantly false.

    As far as these employees getting fired from gagme - that they were hired by gagme in the first place is an indication that gagme considered them among the best talent. Whether that is true or not is another thing, but if they are truly talented people, IMO, they have nothing to worry about. In my area, it would take them literally days to find another job. Whether that is the same everywhere, I doubt it; however, it remains that there are a significant number of jobs out there that many companies are having difficulty filling. Anyone fired from gagme would likely be able to find another job with relative ease.
  20. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,496   +514

    I read it in a news article on yahoo, I will supply the source later, long day. But just like stormy daniels some companies require you to sign a none disclosure agreement, like my former employer who serviced dsl. idk if I can even say that but I will. We were contracted out and never allowed to say what companies we worked for. Nothing big just simple stuff, call center from home.

    Google is not the only company with such rules, it is legal.
  21. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,824   +2,174

    NDA's, in some cases, have been thrown out in court. I am not a lawyer, but my bet is that if a gagme employee took this to court, it would get thrown out because it essentially, IMO, coerces the employee into not reporting a crime as defined by law. I have to liken this to the cases with the Catholic Church.

    For the perpetrators of the crime, and their enablers - in this case, gagme, silence is golden; however, I do not see where covering up the fact that a person is engaging in criminal behavior is in the best interests of society as a whole. It is bad enough that this is enabled in a workplace like gagme, but if that same employee was performing similar criminal acts outside of the workplace, it then becomes a problem for the whole of society. Obviously, this is my opinion, and this is part of my reason that I consider gagme a disease.

    IMO, a large part of the problem with gagme is that they have a god complex that comes from having so much money. They seem to think that since they have so much money, they can do anything. Thus, they think that they can have their employees sign NDAs like this and that since they have so much money in comparison to the employee, that the employee will comply just because the employee cannot afford to fight it.

    And the other part of the problem is that there are people out there that think gagme is the next best thing to sliced bread, and will do anything to work for them. To me, working for them would be enabling them to continue in their behavior and a tacit approval of all the pernicious things they do.

    IMO, someone or something needs to reign them in, and perhaps this protest is the start of that.

    Here's a link to the US EEOC web site: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm It clearly states that the examples you presented are patently illegal. If gagme truly has a condition of not reporting such instances in their employee NDA, IMO, anyone who decides to challenge that in court would easily win.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
    treetops likes this.
  22. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,496   +514


    I think this was my source and if so I misread it in a way. So they can't sue the company in any example I listed but I don't see why that would stop them from calling the police on the person. Still bad, but not as bad.

    "The first calls for an end to forced arbitration in cases involving harassment or discrimination for employees. Mandatory arbitration requires employees to settle disputes privately — meaning they can’t sue or participate in a class action lawsuit against their employer even if they find necessary. Activists point to forced arbitration as a mechanism that can silence victims of sexual harassment or assault. In September, California — where Google is headquartered — almost passed a law that would ban forced arbitration at companies. But Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill, saying it “plainly violates federal law” following recent decisions from the Supreme Court."

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