Over 1,000 Google Employees Participate in Sit-in Protesting Alleged Retaliation Against Workers Who Reported Sexual Assault

On Nov. 1, above, Google employees in Venice joined counterparts around the world in a protest over how the company handled sexual misconduct claims. The May 1 protest is over what they call a “culture of retaliation.” (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
On Nov. 1, above, Google employees in Venice joined counterparts around the world in a protest over how the company handled sexual misconduct claims. The May 1 protest is over what they call a “culture of retaliation.” (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

More than 1,000 Google employees participated in a sit-in on Wednesday protesting the company’s alleged retaliation against workers who have spoken up critically against the tech giant, a Google employee told The Hill.

Google employees in 15 offices around the world – including in New York, California and London – participated in the organized action, which involved a sit-in as well as employees calling in sick to protest.

More international offices are planning their own sit-in protests for after May 1.

Today, Googlers from around the world are gathering … to sit together and show retaliation is #NotOkGoogle,” the group organizing the protests, Google Walkout for Real Change, tweeted on Wednesday. “The stories we’ve been collecting will be shared, our demands will be read, and all will be in solidarity with those withstanding this chilling practice.”

Some employees set their “out of office” email replies to provide details about Google’s alleged retaliation against its workers, and others set their profile picture to display support for the protest.

A Google employee told The Hill that management was “tentatively supportive” of the sit-in, with some managers explicitly telling their teams to attend.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the protest directly on Tuesday, saying in a statement that Google does not condone retaliation in the workplace.

The sit-in comes six months after more than 20,000 Google workers participated in walkouts at offices around the world, organized to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment as well as general working conditions.

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SOURCE: EMILY BIRNBAUM, The Hill