Google faces legal action over sexual misconduct policy

Google faces legal action and is being taken to court over the way it allegedly handled sexual misconduct claims against two senior managers.

Separately two lawsuits have been filed by long-term shareholders which accuse Alphabet’s board of being involved in attempts to cover up the claims.

Both of the lawsuits seek to force Google to change its governance and oversight to stop future workplace conduct issues. They also call for Alphabet directors to pay damages to Alphabet for allegedly breaching their fiduciary duties and engaging in corporate waste.

Google declined to comment on the lawsuits or whether it will respond.

The allegations stem primarily from large severance payments to Andy Rubin, who led Google’s Android mobile operating division until 2014, and Amit Singhal, head of Google’s search unit until 2016.

Company investigations into both men had found accusations of sexual harassment against them to be credible, according to the lawsuits.

Both Rubin and Singhal have denied the allegations.

The way Google handled the incidents prompted demonstrations by staff and led to thousands walking out of their offices in co-ordinated protests in November.

In response, Google boss Sundar Pichai apologised for the way it had acted in the past over allegations of inappropriate behaviour and promised improvements.

 

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