Alphabet Board Sued for Role in Covering up Sexual Misconduct by Top Executives

Sexual Misconduct

Attorneys are suing the board of Google parent Alphabet Inc. on behalf of a company shareholder for allegedly covering up two former executives from accusations of sexual misconduct over the last five years, Reuters reported.

The company declined the request for comment. The two lawsuits came months after a report by New York Times detailed how Google shielded sexual misconduct claims against its executives, by keeping them on staff or allowing amicable departure.

These suits aim to force the company to change its oversight and governance to avoid workplace conduct issues in the future. Further, the board directors are asked to pay for damages to the company for allegedly breaching fiduciary duties and engaging in corporate waste.

According to Reuters News, the allegations began from a $90 million exit package offered to Android leader Andy Rubin and another large severance payments to Google’s then search unit head Amit Singhal, after finding sexual harassment claims against them to be credible.

Both the officials have denied the allegations against them.

Last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai apologized to employees for the company’s past handling of sexual misconduct claims and pledged to improve the practices.

One lawsuit, filed in California’s San Mateo County Superior Court, cites minutes from the company’s board committee meetings where the situations of executives were discussed.

James Martin, the shareholder plaintiff, received the documents through a demand of shareholder inspection. According to his attorney Frank Bottini, Google provided the documents on the condition that they would not be published and details from the meetings are redacted in the 82-page lawsuit filed on Thursday.

As reported in Reuters, Bottini and his team is planning the show that Google suffered millions of dollars in damages including lost productivity from workforce walking off the company around November to protest large payments made to executives accused of sexual harassment.

The lawsuit calls for the Google parent company to include at least three independent board directors and move to a ‘one share, one vote’ stock structure to improve shareholder oversight of management decisions.

Bottini said that they would like to meaningful changes in the tone at Alphabet, the treatment of women employees, the policies, and the reporting of sexual misconduct and other issues.

The second lawsuit, on the other hand, cites Alphabet’s media reports and filings, represented by the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Troll, Reuters reported.

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Rohit Bhisey

Rohit Bhisey

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