#GoogleWalkout: Thousands of workers protest sexual harassment and pay inequality, demand changes

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Hundreds of Google engineers and other workers worldwide are expected to walk off the job Thursday to protest the company's handling of executives accused of sexual misconduct.

Hundreds of workers filed out of its European headquarters in Dublin shortly after 1100 local time, while organisers shared photographs on social media of hundreds more leaving Google offices in London, Zurich, Berlin, Tokyo and Singapore.

In an unsigned statement from organizers, the Google protesters called for an end to forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases, a practice that requires employees to give up their right to sue and often includes confidentiality agreements. They demanded Google commit to end pay inequity, a long festering issue at the company that led to a gender bias suit.

-Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the board of directors.

Organizers of today's Google Walkout for Real Change told The New York Times that over 1,500 employees plan to walk out from over 60 percent of Google's offices.

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"We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action", said Pichai.

But Thursday's walkout could signal that a significant number of the 94,000 employees working for Google and its corporate parent

Ellen Anderson, who is not a Google employee, said she attended because it is "super powerful to see workers organizing against sexual harassment".

He admitted the New York Times' report had been "difficult to read".

"For me, it feels like everything's hit a boiling point", a Google employee told Vanity Fair. "We know that it can be more hard for other workers to stand up which is why we stand in solidarity with the temporary and contract workers here at Google, but we encourage everyone who feels this injustice to take collective action". One hot button issue for employees was Google's decision to pay a $90 million severance over a four-year period to Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software.

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With all of this going on you might think that Google CEO Sundar Pichai would be doing his best to pull the curtain down but he has instead voiced his support for those participating in the walkout, stating that the employees who choose to leave their posts have the company's full support.

Sam Singer, a spokesman for Rubin, rejected the allegations against him in a statement to AFP, saying Rubin left Google of his own accord to launch venture capital firm and technology incubator Playground. Google did not deny it, according to Reuters.

"In two instances, it ousted senior executives, but softened the blow by paying them millions of dollars as they departed, even though it had no legal obligation to do so", the New York Times wrote.

In New York City, male and female employees walked around the block surrounding Google's offices for about 10 minutes.

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