Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has reached a $ 310 million settlement in a lawsuit over misconduct by the company’s executives. Shareholders accused the search engine giant of having behaved badly for sexual harassment in the workplace. The technology company is now promising to do more against abuse.
Shareholders sued Alphabet after a major riot over a gold handshake for Andy Rubin. Rubin, who developed the Android operating system, received a $ 90 million bonus upon departure. Meanwhile, he was under investigation for sexual harassment. Despite complaints of abuse, other managers also received high bonuses on their departure.
The problem caused great dissatisfaction among the company’s employees. Thousands of Google employees left their jobs in 2018 to signal that they were calling for more action from above.
In the deal, Alphabet promises to set up an independent committee to oversee the proper handling of complaints about harassment. In addition, Google employees are prohibited from developing relationships with subordinates while previously everyone was “severely discouraged”.
All Alphabet employees are now also free to bring complaints of misconduct to court, whereas previously they were required to resolve such complaints through private mediation under previous guidelines. This obligation was previously lifted at Google, but is now also disappearing at other alphabet companies such as Waymo.
Alphabet will spend the 310 million euros on projects for more diversity and equality. The money also goes into programs for a more respectful work culture and wider access to IT education.