Hundreds of Google employees are planning a walkout Thursday, according to multiple reports, in the wake of revelations by The New York Times that the company settled with a top executive accused of sexual misconduct.
Andy Rubin, a top executive at Google who spearheaded the creation of the Android operating system, was accused of coercing a former female co-worker to have oral sex in a hotel room. He has disputed the allegations, describing them in a tweet as “part of a smear campaign.”
The accusations against Rubin were part of a pattern detailed by the Times of the company not only permitting sexual misconduct by top male executives but in some cases rewarding it. Rubin received a $90 million exit package in 2014 despite an internal investigation of his behavior determining that the accounts of his alleged behavior were credible.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai and VP of people operations Eileen Naughton both signed a company memo obtained by numerous media outlets that described the Times article as “difficult to read.” The memo noted that 48 people have been terminated at the company for sexual harassment in the past two years, 13 of whom held senior management positions.
Many employees are still dissatisfied with the response by the company. The Times spoke with Liz Fong-Jones, a longtime former Google engineer who is now a workplace activist. “When Google covers up harassment and passes the trash, it contributes to an environment where people don’t feel safe reporting misconduct,” the paper quoted her. “They suspect that nothing will happen or, worse, that the men will be paid and the women will be pushed aside.”
BuzzFeed News was the first to report the plans for the walkout on Thursday.
A Google representative did not immediately respond to Deadline’s request for comment.