Google has fired 48 people for sexual misconduct over the past two years and let them go with any severance packages. The tech giant revealed the information to its employees on Thursday in an email from Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai.
Thirteen out of the 48 people dismissed for infringing Google's sexual harassment policies were either senior managers or executives. The announcement came after reports that it had dismissed top executive Andy Rubin for sexual harassment and paid him to leave the company. Rubin was in charge of the company's Android mobile operating system.
The news has made Google the latest big company to declare that it would take severe action in dealing with harassment in the workplace. Mr Pichai mentioned in the internal memo that the company was 'dead serious' about providing a safe and inclusive work environment. He added that Google had embraced tougher internal policies since 2015, a period that saw Mr Pichai appointment as its CEO.
Corporates in India have also been stepping up to address workplace harassment in wake of the #MeToo movement in India. About four in five cases of workplace harassment in India go unreported, as per a nationwide survey by LocalCircles. The poll had also revealed that people were not aware of what was deemed to be inappropriate behaviour.
The number of sexual harassment cases reported among Nifty companies in India - like Infosys, Wipro and ICICI - has shot up by 48% in the last four years. Tata Motors was another Indian corporate caught in the wake of the movement. The company sent Suresh Rangarajan, its chief of communications, on leave earlier this month over a pending enquiry for inappropriate behaviour with women employees. As a result, most organisations have been rushing to train and educate employees on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.
To address growing concerns, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has been amidst major discussions to rectify legal loopholes in the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act. The NCW was responsible for implementing the first draft of the existing bill back in 2013.
Initially attaining momentum in the US, the #MeToo movement gained traction in India earlier this year. Many women, particularly from the film and entertainment industry, have spoken up about sexual harassment at their workplaces, with a host of males celebrities and executives being named so far.
Read all about the #MeToo campaign in India here.
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