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Google's Parent Investigating Handling Of Sexual Harassment

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Google parent Alphabet's board of directors initiated an internal investigation into how its executives handled claims of sexual harassment and other misconduct, according to a report by CNBC.

The board has reportedly formed an independent subcommittee as well as hired a law firm to help with the investigation, that will also look into the actions of Chief Legal Officer David Drummond who was accused of having relationships with employees.

In January, shareholders had filed a lawsuit against Alphabet related to a reported $90 million severance package to former Android co-founder Andy Rubin, who left the company after being accused of sexual misconduct.

The lawsuit alleged that Alphabet failed in its duties to shareholders by covering up the misconduct. It sought the reimbursement of severance payouts to executives who left the company under a cloud of misconduct.

Rubin left the company in 2014, but the New York Times reported in October 2018 that Google had found the allegations credible and yet kept them secret.

The Times also reported another senior executive received a severance package in the millions after being accused of sexual misconduct, while another kept his highly-paid job.

The report of Rubin's payout triggered a wave of protests at the tech giant and 20,000 employees staged a company-wide walkout last November.

In August, former Google legal employee Jennifer Blakely wrote in a post on Medium about an affair with Drummond, who was married to somebody else at the time. According to Blakely, their relationship resulted in a child. She also noted that Drummond was well aware that the relationship was in violation of Google's policies regarding managers dating their team members.

Blakely also claimed Drummond had affairs with other employees at the company, which Drummond later denied.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Drummond had received $47 million in salary and equity last year.

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