Googlers across the country staged a big 'sit-in' because they say organisers of November's sexual harassment walkouts were retaliated against

  • Google employees in offices around the world staged a May Day “sit-in” on Wednesday to protest what they say are instances of workplace retaliation at the tech giant.
  • The sit-in was prompted by the case of two employees who said they were demoted and forced to give up some of their duties after they helped organise November walkouts to call attention to sexual harassment at the company.
  • In New York, organisers estimated there were between 300 and 400 employees who took part in the demonstration, reading and listening to instances of retaliation.
  • In total, one Googler familiar with the matter estimated that just north of 1,000 employees participated.
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Google employees in offices around the world staged a May Day “sit-in” on Wednesday to protest what they say is pattern of of retaliation against workers who speak out for change at the tech giant.

The sit-in was prompted after two employees who helped organise the November Walkouts – Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton – said Google demoted them and forced them to give up some of their duties in response to their organising efforts.

“My manager started ignoring me, my work was given to other people, and I was told to go on medical leave, even though I’m not sick,” Stapleton said in an internal email sent to Google employees. “While my work has been restored, the environment remains hostile and I consider quitting nearly every day.”


Read more:
Two Google employees who spearheaded the walkout against sexual misconduct say the company has retaliated and demoted them

On Wednesday, other Google employees joined Whittaker and Stapleton in sharing their stories of retaliation. The sit-ins took place at 11 AM local time in offices across the globe.

In New York, organisers estimated there were between 300 and 400 employees who took part in the demonstration, reading and listening to instances of retaliation.

Employees in London, Ann Arbor, Boston, Pittsburgh, and its headquarters in Mountain View also took part. In total, one Googler familiar with the matter estimated that just north of 1,000 employees participated.

Stories will also be shared throughout the day on Twitter via the hashtag, #NotOkGoogle.

In response to the sit-ins, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement: “We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy. To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation.”

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