back to article Alphabet top brass OK'd $100m-plus payouts to execs accused of sexual misconduct – court docs

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin allegedly signed off multimillion-dollar payouts to senior execs accused of sexual misconduct, according to freshly unsealed court submissions. The complaint (10.2MB PDF), which was published by the Santa Clara Superior Court's website yesterday, was filed in a case brought by …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still not a squeak from Google employees about the Absher app running on their platform...

  2. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Welcome to the party :-(

    De Castro failed at Yahoo, was fired after a year, and got a 58 million payoff. As per all these other executives, if there was evidence of gross misconduct they could have been fired without a payoff. But there wasn't that sort of evidence...so they had to be paid off.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/ex-yahoo-coo-henrique-de-castro-i-was-fired-and-thats-ok-2014-12?r=US&IR=T

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Welcome to the party :-(

      Even with concrete evidence, I suspect the payments would be made. There's the good ol' boys mentality in board rooms otherwise they wouldn't be sitting on a new board in a few weeks. And it's not just sexual harassment either. Bad decisions and companies failing are no barrier to getting a new board seat.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to the party :-(

        Quite right - Bad decisions & previous failure are good experience, give the chap (as they generally are) a job. /sarc

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Welcome to the party :-(

          Yeah, get canned at Big Corp A, and walk down the road and get a better job at Big Corp B. Once you're in, drinks for all my friends at the bar! And you don't look back. I've seen the corporate rot infect a few old friends...

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Singhal - another name for a moron? Offered $35-$45 million over 3 years as long as he doesn't compete with his former company. And now, he gets nowt.

  4. holmegm

    key words

    " allegedly signed off multimillion-dollar payouts to senior execs accused of sexual misconduct"

    Aren't the key words here "allegedly" and "accused"?

    1. overunder

      Re: key words

      Sure, and but by that rational, "multimillion-dollar... sexual misconduct"

      Im sure they're probably guilty, or how about, probably not innocent.

    2. e^iπ+1=0

      Re: key words

      'Aren't the key words here "allegedly" and "accused"?'

      Exactly.

      Maybe later we get the words "convicted"and "custodial sentence"

      In the meantime, don't hold your breath.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: key words

        Maybe later we get the words "convicted"and "custodial sentence"

        No criminal cases, so not going to happen. This is the problem of keeping this all on the civil side. Make it a criminal offence, once you've decided what this is, and not something stupid because unworkable like the current German law that consent is not given unless a woman says "yes", make disclosure obligatory oh, and by imposing custodial sentences you might be able to keep a lid on the tort side.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: key words

      Aren't the key words here "allegedly" and "accused"?

      Yes, because Alphabet/Google contractually forced all complaints through an internal arbitration process. I would have through that in any civilised country, not only would that contract term be illegal, but that the acts some of these people are being accused of are criminal acts in themselves. It seems that in the USA you can sign away your legal rights to a fair trial in an employment contract and it's all legal.

      1. Cederic

        Re: key words

        The civil actions taken against the company were required to go through arbitration.

        The response to any criminal acts would not come under the employment contracts and appropriate criminal justice procedures followed.

        It's possible for actions to be unacceptable in employment without breaking the law, so it's possible that nothing happened, that something happened that wasn't illegal but did justify removing the accused from the organisation, that something happened that wasn't illegal and didn't justify ending someone's employment but they were asked to leave anyway and that something happened and the police should've been called but weren't. It's even possible that the police were called and chose not to pursue a prosecution.

        We don't know which scenario came to pass but in none of them has anybody signed away their right to a fair trial.

  5. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Presumption of Innocence

    Once declared guilty, these bastards would deserve to be fired abruptely. But, anyone being innocent until proven guilty, how could Google fire someone being 'just' accused without compensation?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Presumption of Innocence

      A sting operation that collects proper evidence has to cost far less than multiple millions.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Presumption of Innocence

        How would you phrase the opening comments to female members of staff you wish to take part in a sting operation? - I can see that going horribly wrong very quickly

    2. cornetman

      Re: Presumption of Innocence

      Well this is the 21st century. Don't need no court case or actual evidence.

      Not saying these people are guilty or innocent, but just a whiff of an accusation is apparently career ending stuff these days.

      Want someone's job, spread a quick rumour and they're out. Job done.

    3. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Presumption of Innocence

      "But, anyone being innocent until proven guilty, how could Google fire someone being 'just' accused without compensation?"

      Innocent until proven guilty is how the justice system is supposed to treat people. Private individuals are free to use very different standards if they so desire. It's entirely possible for a company to say something along the lines of "We don't care whether you actually did it or not, allegations bring us into disrepute so we want nothing further to do with you. Goodbye.". The exact extent to which that is possible depends on local laws of course; in the EU a simple accusation of misconduct might not be enough to avoid worker protection laws, while in the US it's often possible to just kick anyone out with no notice and no reason necessary. But in no case does "innocent until proven guilty" come into it; you don't need to wait for someone to get a criminal conviction in order to fire them.

  6. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    $100m payout

    Did the victims get $100m between them?

  7. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Joke

    False accusations...

    Well, having looked into the matter, I can only conclude that these are false accusations and the parties concerned deserve their payout.

    I know because I Googled it.

  8. naive

    For billionaires even flirting constitutes harassing

    The richer one is, the sooner they call out the h-word to get something out of it.

    Better don't mix with the plebs when rich.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For billionaires even flirting constitutes harassing

      Counterpoint. Rich people behave worse because they feel that they 'deserve it' just for being rich.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This sentence in the New York Times article on the subject gave me food for thought:

    A Google employee with whom [Andy Rubin] was having an extramarital relationship accused him of coercing her into oral sex. She filed a complaint, and the company’s investigation found her account to be credible.

    I'm wondering what would have happened had the woman not been a Google employee. Nothing, I suspect.

    1. FozzyBear Silver badge

      accused him of coercing her into oral sex.

      Most guys I know beg, unashamedly, for it

  10. rmstock

    $100m plus

    Google-up your little daughter and become a G+ Millionaire.

    The Trump women are chump change.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: $100m plus

      Trump was paying off women who voluntarily had sex with the fat orange slob. You'd think they'd pay HIM to keep it quiet...

      The ones he sexually harassed he just had threatened into silence.

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