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Google employees are walking out today to protest handling of sexual misconduct

Days after a New York Times investigation revealed Google gave Android creator Andy Rubin a $90 million exit package despite multiple relationships with other Google staffers and accusations of sexual misconduct, some 200 employees at the search giant are planning a walkout.

The walkout, or “women’s walk,” as it’s been referred to in internal company forums, is planned for today.

Following the NYT report, Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai and its vice president of people operations Eileen Naughton co-signed a company memo admitting that 48 people had been terminated at the company for sexual harassment in the past two years, 13 of which held a senior management position or higher. None of them, according to the memo, received an exit package.

Staff at Google offices around the world is set to stage an unprecedented series of walkouts in protest at the company’s treatment of women.

The employees will demand several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration – a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

Staff involved in Thursday’s walkout will leave a note on their desks telling colleagues: “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.”

They are also making formal demands to Google’s management. They are:

An end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees;

A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequality;

A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report;

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

The elevation of the chief diversity officer to answer directly to the CEO, and make recommendations directly to the board of directors;

The appointment of an employee representative to the board.

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