Google Walkout Organizers Demand HR Investigation After Claims Of Retaliation

The organizers behind last year’s mass walkout at Google are calling for an investigation into the company’s human resources department, building on claims they made last month that Google is retaliating against them for their roles in the protest.

In a blog published on Medium Wednesday, organizers published a list of four demands. In addition to reiterating the demands of the original walkout — which included ending forced arbitration and taking steps to better address discrimination and sexual harassment — the authors, in no uncertain terms, blamed Google HR for a litany of problems.

“Google seems to have lost its mooring, and trust between workers and the company is deeply broken,” they wrote. “As the company progresses from crisis to crisis, it is clear Google management is failing, along with HR. It’s time to put HR on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) and bring in someone we trust to supervise it. It’s time to escalate.”

Specifically, the authors call on the company to hire an independent third party to conduct an open, transparent investigation. 

“Google’s HR department is broken,” the post reads. “Over and over again it prioritizes the company and the reputation of abusers and harassers over their victims. The collateral damage is all around us.”

“We need third party investigators,” they add. Then, in a particularly damning addition, they note: “Even Uber did this, bringing in [former Attorney General] Eric Holder and [HuffPost founder] Arianna Huffington.”

A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the latest allegations but reiterated the company’s stance that there was no retaliation against the walkout organizers.

Regarding Googlers’ demands in the original walkout last November: The company did end the much-derided policy of forced arbitration, announced a reworked process with multiple channels for employees to report discrimination and harassment, and internally released the results of its investigation into employee-reported misconduct allegations.

“We won’t implement every idea that our employees (or the outside world) raise,” the company said in a blog post last month announcing the changes, “but we always listen, and we consider constructive feedback.”

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