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Shareholder sues Alphabet for covering up sexual harassment

13 January 2019

Singhal also resigned from the position of Uber's Senior Vice President of Engineering in 2017 after the sexual harassment allegations against him were discovered from his time at Google.The aftermath of these incidents becoming public was a massive world protest staged by its employees aginst the way the sexual misconduct cases were handled.

Martin, is not only demanding for Rubin and others to return their severance package but it is also demanding changes to be made in Alphabet's governance, which includes changing its stock structure to "one share, one vote" and nominating three independent directors to its board.

The allegations stem primarily from large severance payments to Andy Rubin, who led Google's Android mobile operating division until 2014, and Amit Singhal, head of Google's search unit until 2016. "What we have asked for are a lot of changes in corporate governance at Google, and that is really the ultimate objective of this litigation".

Google's board of directors and executive leadership have been accused of covering up allegations of sexual harassment against former executives. The New York Times reported that back in 2014, Rubin received approximately $90 million when he was sacked over accusations of sexual harassment.

In October, Google CEO Sundar Pichai issued a statement in the wake of the Rubin story, saying the company would be taking a much tougher stance when it comes to sexual harassment and misconduct allegations. It also alleged that Google protected two other unnamed executives accused of sexual misconduct, removing one with a severance package while retaining another.

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The double standard meant Alphabet's board had not done its job properly and its actions had cost the company millions, said the lawsuit.

It accuses the executives as well as the board for being complicit, of breaching fiduciary duty, abuse of power and unjust enrichment.

Alphabet has not commented on the lawsuit.

"If the board of directors is in charge, they were supposed to "do the right thing", and in this case they've done anything but the right thing", said Louise Renne, the former City Attorney of San Francisco. In the tech industry, companies like Uber have wrestled with accounts of work environments fraught with varying degrees of sexual harassment.

The plaintiffs ' lawyers claim compensation for the shareholders and a court order, that the Alphabet and Google the companies to improve management and internal controls for the protection of employees and investors.

Shareholder sues Alphabet for covering up sexual harassment