Mountain View-headquartered tech giant Alphabet has been in hot water over its subsidiary Google lately. When accounts of sexual misconduct against Andy Rubin from Google employees came to light, the accused was dismissed from his position at the company back in 2018. However, the Alphabet's shareholders were deeply angered upon finding out that Rubin, the co-founder and ex-CEO of Android Inc., was handed out $90 million in severance pay when he left.
Soon afterwards, the shareholders' displeasure turned into lawsuits filed against the company for issuing severance packages to disgraced ex-employees who had faced sexual misconduct allegations. At the time, Alphabet tried to cool the situation by setting up a board to oversee future cases of sexual harassment or of similar nature.
Today parent company Alphabet and its problem child were finally able to close the chapter by pledging $310 million in settlements. In a blog post addressing the agreement, Google described where the money will be spent:
"We’ll ensure that $310 million in funding goes toward diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and programs focused on increasing access to computer science education and careers; continuing to build a more representative workforce; fostering a respectful, equitable and inclusive workplace culture; and helping businesses from underrepresented groups to succeed in the digital economy and tech industry."
The big four company also outlined other changes that it is going to make to the organization in light of the lawsuit. Apart from the sizable multi-million-dollar pledge, the blog post detailed four other main guidelines to be followed concerning investigations and reports of sexual allegations, retaliation, harassment, discrimination and other disputes that may arise in the future.
As per the new changes made, employees who are dismissed due to allegations of misconduct will no longer be given severance packages of any sort. Misconduct will also become a key point of evaluating the performance of the employees, playing a role in promotions and compensations. Google will also set up a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council to watch over such matters.
Lastly, Eileen Naughton, VP of people operations at Google, promised that going forward, members of the public will be kept informed and updated about the progress of the company in the areas under scrutiny today. It is likely that the Alphabet subsidiary will share progress reports concerning its treatment of such sensitive cases in the future.