Google parent faces two lawsuits for cover-up in sexual misconduct case

Google employees protest in Redwood City in Nov 2018

Two lawsuits have been filed by shareholders against Google’s parent company, Alphabet, alleging that the board had a role in covering up sexual misconduct claims against two former executives over the last five years.

One of the shareholders, James Martin has sued Alphabet’s board, accusing the co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin of not handling well sexual misconduct charges against several high-powered former executives, Recode reported.

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The lawsuits says that the co-founders gave large severance payments to the accused – Andy Rubin, who led Google’s Android mobile operating division until 2014, and Amit Singhal, head of Google’s search unit until 2016. Company investigations into both men had found accusations of sexual harassment against them to be credible, according to the lawsuit, Reuters says in its report. Rubin and Singhal have denied the allegations.

The growing cases of workplace harassment led to a walkout of 20,000 Google employees in November last year, seeking change in the culture and more transparency. Andy Rubin was paid a severance package of $90 million.

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The lawsuit requests that the parties accused of sexual misconduct return all profits, benefits, and other compensation to the company.

The second case, brought on Wednesday by Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan and Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund, cites company filings and media reports.

Both lawsuits seek to force Google to change its governance and oversight to stop future workplace conduct issues, Reuters said. They also call for Alphabet directors to pay damages to Alphabet for allegedly breaching their fiduciary duties and engaging in corporate waste.

(With agency inputs)

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