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.
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:
While the Senate has been poring over the youthful misadventures of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, several House lawmakers, with far less fanfare, have been focusing on a more plausible charge of misconduct involving an ex-colleague, Mel Watt. On September 26, Watt, a former 11-term North Carolina congressman who since January 2014 has headed the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), was grilled at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee concerning allegations about his sexual harassment of a female FHFA employee. “She deserves to be heard and she needs to be heard,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex. Watt denies all wrongdoing, but evidence might not be on his side.
Melvin Luther “Mel” Watt, now 73, a trained lawyer and a native of Charlotte, first was elected to Congress in 1992, a beneficiary of gerrymandering to ensure black representation. During his tenure, he specialized in banking, housing and economic development … Read More ➡ “Until Mel Watt Resigns, There’s a Cloud Over FHFA”
During his six terms in Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., often has been described in less than flattering terms. “Abuser” is a new one. Last Saturday, Ellison, who also is the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was accused by the adult son of a former girlfriend of committing extreme domestic abuse during the relationship. The son posted a comment on Facebook during which he referred to a video allegedly showing Ellison dragging the woman, Karen Monahan, off a bed and screaming obscenities. The congressman, who this Tuesday won his party’s primary for Minnesota attorney general, denies all allegations. “This video does not exist because I have never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false,” he stated. Yet the body of evidence might not work in his favor. And there is a second female accuser with a story to tell.
There’s a rich irony to last Monday’s announcement by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., that she would not seek reelection in the face of revelations that she had averted her eyes from clear evidence of sexual harassment occurring in her own office. For during these past several months, Rep. Esty has been an outspoken supporter of #MeToo, an ad hoc movement that went viral last October in the wake of growing accusations – or revelations, if one will – of harassment against women. While “serves her right” might not be the right response to Esty’s pending departure, it would be difficult to deny she embodies a certain hypocrisy underlying much of political feminism.