Six months earlier, thousands of Google employees worldwide walked off the job to bring attention to how the company dealt with sexual misconduct complaints. Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, both long-time Google employees who had led the walkout in November, claimed the company retaliated against them.
Whittaker posted to internal Google mailing lists that management told her that her position would be “changed dramatically” and that she would have to end her outside work in artificial intelligence ethics for an organization she co-founded. Stapleton said her bosses told her she would be demoted and had one of her projects killed two months after the November workout.
“Our stories aren’t the only ones. Google has a culture of retaliation, which too often works to silence women, people of color, and gender minorities,” Whittaker and Stapleton wrote. “Retaliation isn’t always obvious. It’s often confusing and drawn out, consisting of icy conversations, gaslighting, project cancellations, transition rejections, or demotions.”
Google denied that it retaliated, with a spokesperson referencing an earlier statement that “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,” the statement noted.Last modified on Saturday, 08 June 2019