Alphabet board sued on allegations of sexual misconduct cover-up

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Two shareholder lawsuits this week accused the board of Google older Alphabet Inc play a direct role in the capping of sexual misconduct claims against two former executives of the past five years.

Google signage is seen at the Google headquarters in the borough of Manhattan of New York City, New York, united states, December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The company declined to comment.

Both of the lawsuits seek to force Google to change its governance and oversight to stop future workplace behavior problems. They also have Alphabet board to pay damages to Alphabet for alleged violations of their fiduciary obligations and the provision of corporate waste.

The allegations with the settlement of large severance payments to Andy Rubin, who led Google’s Android division until 2014, and Amit Singhal, head of Google’s search unit until 2016. Company research on both men had found allegations of sexual harassment against them to be credible, according to the lawsuits.

Rubin and Singhal have denied the allegations. Google Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai apologized last year to the employees for the companies in the past handling of sexual misconduct cases and vowed to improve practices. here

One of the two lawsuits in San Mateo County Superior Court in California, cites minutes from the Alphabet board and commission meetings where the executives in situations were discussed.

Plaintiff James Martin documents obtained through a shareholder inspection demand,” according to the indictment. Google provided them on the condition that they not be published, according to his lawyers, and data from the minutes to be edited over at least eight pages in the 82-page lawsuit filed on Thursday.

Martin’s lawyer, Frank bottini, said that his team intends to show that Google ago, hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, including payouts made to executives accused of sexual misconduct, the lost productivity of employees around the world walk off the job briefly in November to protest against the payouts and strikes the reputation of the brand.

The employee’s demonstrations followed a New York Times in October that said Google in 2014 gave a $90 million exit package to Rubin, who said that the conditions of his departure were mischaracterized.

Employee organizers said that they are pleased about the lawsuits if they continue to insist on further changes, including an employee, representative, on the Alphabet of the board of directors.

The lawsuit calls for the Alphabet to add at least three independent directors of the board of commissioners and move to a “one share, one vote” stock structure to increase shareholder oversight of management decisions. Alphabet executives currently hold a majority of votes by shares with 10 votes each.

“We would like to see … meaningful change in the tone of the company, the policies, the treatment of women, the reporting of sexual harassment and other problems,” bottini said.

The second case, brought on Wednesday by the Northern California Pipe Trades Pension plan and the Teamsters Local 272 labor Management pension fund, the cites-company declarations and messages in the media. They are represented by the law firm of Cohn & Millstein.

Reporting by Paresh Dave; additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Grant McCool and Chris Reese

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