Organized Walkouts at Google Protest Company’s Retaliation Against Sexual Harassment Whistleblowers

Google has been the subject of national criticism recently in the wake of allegations of retaliation against employees who protested the way it handles sexual harassment claims. On May 1, which is International Workers’ Day, employees in Google offices globally participated in organized walkouts to protest the alleged retaliation on a large scale.

Similar walkouts occurred in November 2018. Google responded by “eliminating its forced arbitration policies for employees bringing sexual assault or harassment claims.” In the aftermath, a pair of female employees at Google posted an internal open letter to other company employees describing the retaliation taken against them.

One of these employees was Claire Stapleton, a marketing manager for YouTube. She claims she was demoted and lost half of her direct reports after participating in protests, and that the company suggested she take medical leave despite her not being ill. She was restored to her original role after she consulted legal counsel.

The other employee was Meredith Whitaker, who has worked for the company for 13 years. She claims a manager talked to her about “two kinds” of people at Google — those who quit and those who stay and attempt to destroy the company.

Google employees speak out

Google has denied any retaliation against employees, but as the protests continue to grow in size and scope, the company may have a crisis on its hands. The November walkouts included about 20,000 employees, and the May 1 walkouts spread to offices in 15 U.S. locations and one in London.

If you believe you have been retaliated against for serving as a whistleblower, seek the counsel of a skilled attorney at Kardell Law Group to protect your rights.