Google CEO Steps Down After Sexual Misconduct
Search engine powerhouse, Google came under fire after The New York Times uncovered a memo outlining their coverup of his sexual misconduct with a subordinate. Plus, the note detailed how the company’s leadership gave lucrative exit packages instead of addressing the sexual harassment.
About Sexual Harassment
Federal law prohibits sexual harassment through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This applies to employers that have 15 or more employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination that explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be physically touching. In fact, it can be any number of unwelcome sexual advances. These include indirect or direct threats for sexual activity, sexist jokes, displaying sexually illicit materials or unwanted touch.
Google CEO’s Sexual Misconduct
The New York Times reported that Google gave the CEO a $90 million exit package when he resigned following an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct. A female employee complained to the company that she felt coerced to perform oral sex upon the CEO in a hotel room. Google investigated and concluded her claim was credible. The company could have fired him and paid him little to nothing when he left. Instead, the company handed him a $90 million exit package, paid in installments of about $2 million a month for four years. The last payment is scheduled for next month.
This wasn’t a singular incident. A job applicant described an incident where she applied for a job with the CEO. He invited her to the Burning Man festival. When she went with her mother, the CEO asked her to remove her shirt and receive a back rub. When she refused, she received word that she did not get the job. This behavior became a common occurrence, yet other female employees reported similar instances.
This goes to show that regardless of the size or the company’s reputation that sexual misconduct can still be prevalent.
If you have experienced sexual harassment in any form in the workplace, you should contact a qualified employment attorney. You should do this right away since time is of the essence. If the harassment has not stopped after making a formal complaint with your employer, consulting a harassment lawyer is your best option. Your attorney will be able to provide further guidance, help you file a claim with the EEOC, and help you build a case that will put an end to what you have experienced.