Google parent settles sexual harassment lawsuit for $310 million

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2020 | Employment Law

It was a little over two years ago when more than 20,000 Google employees worldwide staged a walkout in protest of the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations and other workplace misconduct charges.

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. recently announced a $310 million settlement of shareholder litigation that accused the company’s board of directors of failing to prevent sexual harassment and of hiding sexual misconduct by executives.

The walkout and lawsuits followed a New York Times report that Google executive Andy Rubin – creator of the Android operating system – received a $90 million severance package though he faced sexual misconduct allegations when he exited the company.

According to the lawsuit filed by a group of shareholders, Google’s board and then-CEO knew an internal investigation had found that allegations that Rubin had coerced a female colleague into performing a sex act credible.

An attorney representing the group of shareholders said the “landmark settlement” of their claims is the most significant resolution of shareholder litigation involving sexual misconduct since 21st Century Fox reached a $90 million settlement of shareholder claims in 2017. The scandal at Fox News ended the careers of network founder Roger Ailes, and popular host Bill O’Reilly.

After Google employees walked out in November 2018, the company dropped mandatory arbitration for employees alleging workplace misconduct. According to a news report, as part of the recent settlement, Alphabet agreed to create “an independent audit board to oversee issues of harassment” across the company, including its Google, Waymo and Verily units.

If you’ve been subjected to sexual harassment or other forms of misconduct in a Milwaukee workplace, contact Alan C. Olson and Associates to discuss your legal options.


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