In Summary
  • Alphabet confirmed Wednesday that its board is investigating how executives handled accusations of misconduct including sexual harassment.
  • Google in November outlined changes to its handling of sexual misconduct complaints.
  • Thousands of Google employees joined a coordinated worldwide walkout late last year to protest the US tech giant's handling of sexual harassment.

Google's parent company Alphabet confirmed Wednesday that its board is investigating how executives handled accusations of misconduct including sexual harassment.

"In early 2019, Alphabet's board of directors formed a special litigation committee to consider claims made by shareholders in various lawsuits relating to past workplace conduct," an Alphabet spokesperson told AFP.

The board hired a law firm to help the committee, which was to contact those who filed complaints and scrutinize cases, including one involving the Alphabet chief legal officer, according to a CNBC report citing unspecified material it had seen.

Google in November outlined changes to its handling of sexual misconduct complaints, hoping to calm outrage that triggered a worldwide walkout of workers.

"We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that," chief executive Sundar Pichai said at the time in a message to employees, a copy of which was shared with AFP.

"It's clear we need to make some changes."

WALKOUT
Pichai promised that Google would be more transparent with how concerns are dealt with, and provide better support and care to those who raise such issues with the company.

Google would provide "more granularity" regarding sexual harassment investigations and their outcomes, according to Pichai.

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