The two female Google employees responsible for staging the 20,000-worker walkout on the company back in November distributed a letter to co-workers this past Monday. Their April 22 letter outlines how both were demoted after organizing the walk that challenged Google’s handling of sexual harassment in the workplace.
In the letter, one of the women who staged the walkout notes that she was demoted from her role as YouTube’s marketing manager. She was also allegedly told to take medical leave despite not being ill.
Soon after that, she hired an attorney. Their involvement in the case motivated Google’s management to conduct an investigation. Soon after that, her original role with the company was reinstated. She still argues the environment that she works in unnecessarily hostile. She says that she ponders walking away from her job daily.
The other organizer of the walkout was employed by Google as an artificial intelligence researcher. Soon after her participation in the march in November, she was told that her job would be dramatically changing.
She’d long worked for New York University’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Now Institute. She was told that she wouldn’t be needed there any longer though. It’s unclear if her role ever actually changed.
The organizers and the 20,000 others who participated were motivated to march by the company offering a developer a large severance package after it was confirmed that he sexually harassed a worker.
Ever since the November march, 300 of these women’s colleagues have also been retaliated against for disclosing instances of sexual harassment in their Google workplace.
Sexual harassment can take on many forms including an individual making sexually suggestive comments, threatening another’s job or engaging in more explicit behavior. All of these actions are illegal under both California and federal laws. A sexual harassment attorney can advise you of your rights if you have been exposed to such a hostile working environment here in San Francisco yourself.