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Google board tried to cover up sexual misconduct, shareholders allege


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01/11/2019 05:54 AM

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Google board tried to cover up sexual misconduct, shareholders allege
Alphabet’s board of directors approved outsize severance packages for Google executives accused of sexual harassment in order to cover up a culture of misconduct, a shareholder lawsuit filed Thursday alleged.

Minutes from board meetings obtained by attorneys for the shareholder reveal the personal involvement of Alphabet directors in behavior that has harmed the company, the plaintiff’s attorneys Ann Ravel, Louise Renne and Frank Bottini said at a press conference.

“The directors’ wrongful conduct allowed the illegal conduct to proliferate and continue,” the complaint states. “As such, members of Alphabet’s board were knowing and direct enablers of the sexual harassment and discrimination.”

The shareholder, James Martin, is suing each of Alphabet’s current directors, a former director and several current or former executives on behalf of Alphabet itself, in what is known as a shareholder derivative lawsuit.

“Google and the board of directors have direct personal liability for covering up the wrongdoing and allowing it to continue for years, thereby significantly harming women employees at Google,” Bottini said. “They would never sue themselves … [so] the law allows a current shareholder to bring a case against the board.”

[link to www.theguardian.com (secure)]