The revelation this week that Google made mega-payouts to two former executives accused of sexual harassment highlights the need for the adoption of a resolution by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), which is a shareholder in parent company Alphabet Inc.
According to NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty, “Alphabet’s management must end the stonewall. A necessary first step is to embrace our shareholder proposal on sexual harassment.”
According to disclosures related to a civil shareholder lawsuit that alleges Google consistently hid sexual harassment and discrimination claims by employees, former Android software creator Andy Rubin was paid $90 million upon his departure, and head of search Amit Singhal was offered $45 million when he left, although the amount was reduced to $15 million because he was hired by a competitor.
It is February 2019, and major corporate CEOs – who are in most cases reluctant to weigh in on controversial political issues lest they repel significant segments of their customer bases – have no hesitation advocating for the amnesty for DACA recipients, or “Dreamers.”
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, initiated by President Obama’s executive order in 2012, granted protections from deportation and work permits to illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children (including teenagers) and have been here five years. President Trump intended to rescind DACA in 2017 but delayed the decision to await a Congressional fix, which never happened, but now the status of the program remains as the efforts to phase it out are tied up in the courts.
The latest earnings report from Alphabet, Google’s parent company, demonstrates that the company is still a cash cow, but it does nothing to allay fears about the intrusive role “big data” plays in our lives. Nor does it provide respite from serious credibility problems facing the company’s leadership.
For instance, Google CEO Sundar Pichai may have lied to Congress. Pichai testified in December before the House Judiciary Committee, where members grilled him about transparency, data collection, and how Google filters search results. Moreover, several Republican congressmen wanted answers about political and ideological bias.
The plaintive Pichai was unequivocal. “We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result,” he claimed, because of the massive scale of trillions of searches each year. “It is not possible for an individual employee or groups of employees to manipulate our search results.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai made his long-awaited appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to testify, and receive a grilling, about censorship of political conservatives and a planned search engine for communist China.
As expected, like other heads of fellow technology companies such as Facebook and Twitter, Pichai denied any prejudice in its services or products.
“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai said. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests. We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions — and we have no shortage of them among our own employees.”
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has submitted a shareholder proposal to Alphabet, the parent company of Google, addressing the issue of sexual harassment. Last week, Google announced that it would end its policy of requiring mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims. The move apparently prompted similar actions by Facebook, eBay and Airbnb.
The Alphabet annual meeting is expected to take place in June. We hope that the company will embrace our resolution to demonstrate its commitment to dealing with this problem. If the company does not support it, we call upon fellow shareholders to act.
NLPC sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project. Here is the text of the resolution and supporting statement:
An effort to confer special rights upon individuals who want to “decide” their gender, rather than go with the biology they were born with, was greatly energized and expanded by the Obama administration.
Now the Trump administration is attempting to return that policy to normalcy, which predictably has a number of liberal technology companies steaming.
The likes of Apple and Amazon, and 50-something other companies, have joined to sign a letter opposing plans by the Department of Health and Human Services to restore definitions of sex to remove “identity” and limit it according to the genitalia an individual is born with, for the purposes of Title IX enforcement of gender discrimination in civil rights law.
The change has implications in education, health care, employment, and just about every other walk of life.
As the midterms approach, Republicans and President Trump talk a lot about the sheer mob-bery of the outraged Left, who attack political opponents both loudly and violently, over issues such as Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, as well as immigration and abortion.
Upon the swearing in of Brett Kavanaugh as the newest Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court after he was falsely accused by Democrats of sexual attacks and impropriety, Google lead designer Dave Hogue let loose on Twitter with a profane rant that condemned Republicans to a painful eternal destiny of torment.
And he wasn’t fired for it – at least not that we know of.
Last month at National Legal and Policy Center we pondered the question whether Google will “cave to Chinese communists while censoring conservatives at home?”
We already knew, and know, the answer. But a month-and-a-half’s time has only further confirmed the answer is “yes.”
Last week The Intercept reported that Google – despite previous claims that downplayed any plans to rejuvenate a search engine in China that complies with the Communist government’s wishes – is indeed furthering the project along. A discovery of a top-secret company memo showed the search engine, code-named “Dragonfly,” would “require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have ‘unilateral access’ to the data.” Searches would be tied to users’ phone numbers, making it easy for the government to track down anyone researching topics or issues they don’t like – such as … Read More ➡ “Google CEO Shamed Into Visiting Congress After Obvious Bias”
Last week Google apparently reversed course on availability its powerful search engine, which based on “principle” had withdrawn from China in 2010, after it refused to comply with the government’s wishes for it to self-censor content sensitive to its freedom-hating leaders. Now, under a program called “Dragonfly,” Google is said to be developing a version of its search engine that would comply with Chinese demands.
Search is where Google generates huge profits, and missing out on the massive market in Asia clearly bugs them in Silicon Valley.