London Google employees walk out to protest treatment of women

The Google protest is billed Walkout For Real Change

Hundreds of other Google workers and contractors, a lot of them women, are also expected Thursday to walk out of almost two dozen company offices around the world.

Staff in Google's Dublin office began the walkout at around 11 a.m. GMT.

· An end to forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases. A flyer left at employees' desks explains that they've left in protest of the lack of transparency surrounding sexual assault cases.

The protests come days after a report published in The New York Times claimed that Android creator Andy Rubin received a $90 million (Rs 660.19 crore at current exchange rate) exit package in 2014 despite facing sexual misconduct allegations.

The email did not mention the reported incidents involving Rubin, DeVaul or anyone else, but Pichai did not dispute the veracity of the New York Times story.

This story is developing and will be updated.

BuzzFeed first reported on the plans for the walkout on Monday, stating that "a group of more than 200 engineers" at the company were organising the protest. Furthermore the protesters demand that an employee representative gets a seat on the company's board of directors.

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Google was not required to pay the money to Rubin, who's denied the accusations, and has declined to comment on the matter.

Workers from all over - including London, New York and Washington, D.C. - staged mid-day walkouts Thursday to combat what they claim is sexism, racism and unchecked power by top company officials.

Archana Singh, 29, who works in sales for Google in Seattle, said she's "from India, so I've seen this a lot and I feel like big companies like Google have to take a stand".

Specific to the matter of sexual harassment the employees are calling for a transparency report on the matter to be made public and pump up the company's chief diversity officer to report to the CEO directly, as well as deal with the Board face-to-face on relevant policy matter. "I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society and, yes, here at Google, too". Rubin has said the Times story "contains numerous inaccuracies" and that the allegations are false.

However, last week's damning report continues to create huge ripples within Google and is the latest in an increasing number of sexual misconduct reports that manifested out of the #MeToo movement. "We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action".

In a separate email sent late in October, Pichai and Eileen Naughten, the executive in charge of personnel issues, attempted to reassure staff that the company had improved its response to sexual misconduct in the four years since Rubin's departure. As the main man behind Google's mobile operating system, getting paid a heap of cash on his way out might seem appropriate, but the report revealed that the real reason for his exit was that he had allegedly "coerced" a female Google employee into a sexual encounter.

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