Carrying signs with messages such as "Don't be evil", Google employees around the world walked off the job this morning in a protest against what they said is the tech company's mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives.
The protest comes as a result of a scathing exposé in the New York Times, which revealed Google's pattern of protecting the accused employees and letting them go with multi-million-dollar payoffs.
Google staff in Zurich, London, Dublin, Tokyo and Berlin also staged walkouts.
The report said Rubin received a $90 million severance package in 2014 even though Google thought the allegations were credible.
"None of the allegations made about Mr. Rubin are true", he said in a statement, calling them "demonstrably false".
Soon after, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai put out a statement that the company was taking a "hard line" on inappropriate conduct.
He said: "Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward". When the two disclosed their relationship to Google, the company's human resources department discouraged the idea that a higher-up would be involved with a subordinate.
"While Google has championed the language of diversity and inclusion, substantive actions to address systemic racism, increase equity, and stop sexual harassment have been few and far between", organizers say.
Over 1,500 Google employees around the world walked out of their offices today.
The event occurs one day after Rich DeVaul, an executive with Google parent company Alphabet, resigned amid sexual harassment accusations. However, last week's damning report continues to create huge ripples within Google and is the latest in an increasing number of sexual misconduct reports that manifested out of the #MeToo movement.
"For every story in the New York Times, there are thousands more, at every level of the company".
Much of the organizing earlier this year was internal, including petition drives, brainstorming sessions with top executives and training from the workers' rights group Coworker.org.
"I think that sexual harassment and sexual misconduct is kind of the tip of the iceberg of the things that women deal with in a work environment where they are a minority", said Amelia Brunner, a software engineer who's been with Google for three years.
Google's headquarters in Mountain View is just shy of 11 AM as of this posting, and employees there are sure to be joining the walkout in huge numbers.
"I am deeply sorry for the past actions and the pain they have caused employees", Pichai wrote.
Rubin also responded to the report and said it "contains numerous inaccuracies about my employment at Google".