Google workers share retaliation stories at sit-in protest

Google employees worldwide are staging a sit-in to protest alleged retaliation from the tech giant on the six-month anniversary of the #GoogleWalkout, when 20,000 workers left their offices to demonstrate against sexual harassment and pay inequity.

The organizers said the sit-in is scheduled for 11 a.m. local time and that workers' stories of acts of revenge by the Mountain View, Calif. company will be shared, along with demands for policy changes at Google. The protest comes just over a week after a letter claiming retaliation was signed by a dozen employees and released.

"Today, Googlers from around the world are gathering at 11 am local time to sit together and show retaliation is #NotOkGoogle," the Google Walkout For Real Change organizers tweeted. "The stories we've been collecting will be shared, our demands will be read, and all will be in solidarity with those withstanding this chilling practice."

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They continued: "Many workers are calling out sick (of retaliation), a reference to being told to take medical leave when not sick. Some set their out of office email reply to speak to what's happening. Others will change their profile photos. All of these actions say retaliation is #NotOkGoogle."

The Walkout, which focused on the Sundar Pichai-led company's handling of sexual harassment claims against executives and its overall culture, was followed by incidents of retaliation, organizers claimed in a letter released one week ago.

"Google has a culture of retaliation, which too often works to silence women, people of color, and gender minorities," the letter signed by Meredith Whittaker, Claire Stapleton and 10 others said. "Retaliation isn’t always obvious. It’s often confusing and drawn out, consisting of icy conversations, gaslighting, project cancellations, transition rejections, or demotions."

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When reached by Fox News, Google had no comment about the planned sit-ins, but did provide the following statement:

“We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy. To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation.”

Google employees have been at the leading edge of a wave of tech worker activism that has swept through Silicon Valley. Employees at Google, Amazon and other firms have protested against a range of policies that they claim are unethical, exclusionary or unfair.

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.