September 25, 2020
  • Alphabet Inc reached a $310million settlement in a shareholder lawsuit on Friday
  • Shareholders sued after the company was accused of covering up lavish exit packages to executives found responsible for sexual misconduct
  • The company will now prohibit severance packages to employees who are subject to any pending sexual misconduct investigation
  • Sexual misconduct accusations against senior executives will also be investigated by a 'rapid response' team
  • Thousands of Google employees walked out in protest after news of the practice emerged in 2018

Alphabet Inc reached a $310million settlement on Friday in a shareholder lawsuit that accused the Google parent of covering up lavish exit packages to executives found responsible for sexual misconduct.

The company agreed to prohibit severance packages to employees who are subject to any pending investigation for sexual misconduct or retaliation.

Sexual misconduct accusations against senior executives will also be investigated by a 'rapid response' team, and they will be barred from amending their stock-selling plans while under investigation.

It comes after thousands of Google employees walked out of work in protest in 2018 when The New York Times revealed the practice.

It emerged that Android creator Andy Rubin received $90million in severance even though several employees had filed misconduct allegations against him.

. . .

The company will spend $310million over a decade on diversity initiatives, such as computer science training for minorities, and Google will expand globally its U.S. policy of not considering prior salaries in setting wages for new hires.

Julie Goldsmith Reiser, an attorney who handled the case for shareholders, said the commitments raised the bar beyond what any other company facing diversity and sexual harassment challenges has agreed to.

'It is a lot of tools that Alphabet will have in the toolbox to make its workplace better,' she said.

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