At 11:10 am, Thursday morning November 1, thousands of Google employes worldwide stood up and walked out of their offices as participants in the Google Walkout. The global demonstration was triggered over their employer’s mishandling of sexual-misconduct allegations that surrounded Android creator Andy Rubin.
The Rubin case is not new. On October 25, the New York Times publishing a damning exposé that revealed Google had paid a shocking $90 million to Android creator Andy Rubin, who resigned in 2014 following a sexual-misconduct investigation. Per the report, Rubin “coerced [a female co-worker] into performing oral sex in a hotel room” in 2013 — allegations she reported a year later, which Google investigated and found credible.
Beyond the $90 million payout, Google’s then chief executive Larry Page celebrated Rubin’s career, without making public the reason for his departure. Page demanded Rubin’s resignation, after details of the situation between two Google execs was revealed. Rubin’s case is one of three high-profile Google executives accused of sexual misconduct charges.
The bottom line of the Times article isn’t that Google took no action in dealing with the sexual misconduct claims. Rather, the inference is that Google prioritized its own interests in not having the employee be fired without a payout and join a competitive company.
Google’s Thursday strikers demanded that the company enact a handful of specific changes that address larger topics in the days of #MeToo. The umbrella of changes coalesce under the overarching demand for an “end to the sexual harassment, discrimination, and the systemic racism that fuel this destructive culture.”
“All employees and contract workers across the company deserve to be safe,” reads an open letter they published on the Cut. “Sadly, the executive team has demonstrated through their lack of meaningful action that our safety is not a priority. We’ve waited for leadership to fix these problems, but have come to this conclusion: no one is going to do it for us. So we are here, standing together, protecting and supporting each other.”
New York Magazine’s The Cut also shows pics of demonstrations from Mountain View to Dublin, Cambridge, New York City, Seattle, Tokyo, Zurich and more.
Related: We’re the Organizers of the Google Walkout. Here Are Our Demands New York Magazine