Dubbed the "Walkout for Real Change," the demonstration came a week after a New York Times article detailed sexual misconduct allegations against former exec and Android creator Andy Rubin. According to the Times, Rubin received a $90 million exit package despite what Google believed to be credible allegations. Rubin has denied any misconduct.
After the story published, Google's CEO Sundar Pichai emailed workers to tell them that the company was committed to providing a safe environment for staffers. He noted that the company had fired 48 other employees for sexual misconduct, employees who did not receive exit packages.
In the wake of the New York Times story, workers at the internet giant called for more employee empowerment overall. They requested increased transparency regarding sexual misconduct claims and pay. They also asked for the end of forced arbitration, a process that prevents staffers from taking certain cases to court.
CNBC Make It took to the streets of New York to talk to staffers outside of Google's Manhattan offices, where organizers said approximately 3,000 employees walked out. (The park where the protest was held in New York City was overflowing its capacity of 750, police told CNBC.) Some held signs that read "$90 million = 3,000 years at $15/hour" and "Ok, Google. Set a timer for 'Up.'"