Google shareholder alleges company tried to cover up sexual misconduct

Google's being sued for paying millions of dollars to former execs accused of sexual harassment

The lawsuit comes months after a New York Times report revealed Google allegedly paid so-called "Godfather of Android" Andy Rubin $90 million Dollars to leave the company following sexual misconduct allegations that were levied against Rubin.

Both lawsuits name the full board of Alphabet, which includes its co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, John Doerr, a venture capitalist, and Ram Shriram, one of its investors.

After the New York Times published an article in October that said Rubin and others accused of misconduct were given millions of dollars in exit pay, thousands of Google workers around the world walked off the job on November 1 in protest.

A lawsuit filed by shareholders on Thursday alleged that Alphabet directors were complicit in behaviour that harmed the company by not reporting their executives' behaviour to authorities. Rubin left the company in 2014, but the New York Times reported in October that Google had found the allegations credible but kept them secret.

Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund and Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan filed another suit that accused the company's board of operating a "pattern of concealment", that allowed "a pervasive culture of harassment and discrimination.".

The shareholder, James Martin, is suing each of Alphabet's current directors, a former director and several current or former executives on behalf of Alphabet itself, in what is known as a shareholder derivative lawsuit.

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It also seeks to have shareholders vote on proposals to end non-disclosure agreements and mandatory arbitrations that keep suspected misconduct from becoming public and to force directors to pay punitive and other damages to Alphabet.

Rubin and Singhal have denied the allegations. While Google claimed that it had "asked" Rubin to resign in the wake of the allegations, it did its bit to hush up the incident and make his exit look amicable.

"There has been substantial evidence of sexual harassment at Google".

Google's parent company Alphabet is facing legal action over the way it allegedly handled sexual misconduct claims against two senior managers.

"This lawsuit, like much of the recent media coverage, mischaracterizes Andy's departure from Google and sensationalizes claims made about Andy by his ex-wife", Ellen Winick Stross, a lawyer for Mr Rubin, said in a statement sent late on Thursday. The growing cases of workplace harassment led to a walkout of 20,000 Google employees in November previous year, seeking change in the culture and more transparency.

Alphabet has not commented on the lawsuit.

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