Seattle Google workers walkout to protest sexual misconduct
At more than 40 Google offices around the globe, employees walked out in protest. They are upset about how the company has handled sexual misconduct accusations against some Google executives. Two of those protests happened in Seattle at offices in Fremont and Kirkland.
About 3,000 people work at the two offices. Hundreds of them gathered outside on this Thursday saying “Enough is enough” and “Time is up.” Some carried signs like "Believe women" or "Not OK Google." Others chanted, “Women’s rights are worker’s rights.”
Danyel Rios Printz co-organized the effort in Kirkland.
“Times up. It’s time for everyone to take responsibility for everything that’s going on and to support our fellow workers,” said Rios Printz.
The employees who walked out say they are concerned about the poor treatment of women. Protesters oppose the company's treatment of executives accused of sexual misconduct. They say it’s too lenient.
“We’re not going to accept sexual harassment or unequal pay for all of our workers,” said Rios Printz.
Some say a New York Times investigation last week sparked Thursday's company-wide walkout. It found Google protected top executives accused of sexual misconduct.
“There is some prompting from the New York Times article. But it is something we at Google are constantly working towards, which is making Google a diverse and accepting environment,” said Rios Printz.
Organizers say they have a list of demands which include an end to forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases, equal pay, and clearer process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
Several employees shared their personal stories during the walkout. Some talked about how managers or coworkers were victimized.
Sarah Myhre spoke out at Thursday's event. She’s only been at Google for about eight months.
“I think it’s amazing all the people that came out and this type of event is encouraged,” said Myhre.
Google’s CEO said he supported today’s walkout by his employees. In a statement he said, “Earlier this week, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for today and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate. Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.” wrote Sundar Pichai, CEO.
In an email to employees obtained by ABC News, Google's CEO said that in the last two years, nearly 50 people were fired for harassment including many senior managers, and that none of them got severance.