Google employees are staging global walkouts over the firm's treatment of women

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a product event in San Francisco. Pichai has declared artificial intelligence more important to humanity than fire or electricity. And yet the search giant is increasingly

Chief executive Sundar Pichai apologised for the company and gave the protest his blessing Credit Eric Risberg AP

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 New York Times, which broke the Rubin story, also reported allegations of sexual misconduct against a number of other Google executives. Rubin left Google in 2014 with a $90 million exit package despite a claim, which the story said was determined credible, that Rubin had coerced a woman he had been dating into a sex act.

Rubin said the Times' report was inaccurate in a pair of statements on Twitter and denied the allegations, which he called a "smear campaign".

"Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward", he said.

Organizers are calling for an end to forced arbitration, a commitment from the company to end inequities in pay and opportunity, a publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report, and a safe and anonymous process for reporting sexual misconduct at Google.

Employees and contractors say the allegations against Mr Rubin have exposed a culture of silence at the company.

DeVaul's departure comes as Google grapples with reports that it gave some executives multimillion dollar payouts despite allegations of sexual harassment against them.

A week later, Google employees are staging a walk out to protest the alleged repeated incidents of sexual harassment at the company.

The report also named Google X director Richard DuVaul, who resigned earlier this week and reportedly sexually harassed a prospective hire.

Some who participated in the walkout said they would not be returning to work that day, while others were seen headed back into Google's offices shortly after.

"We don't want to feel that we're unequal or we're not respected anymore", Claire Stapleton, a product marketing manager at YouTube who helped call for the walkout, told The NY Times. "I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel, " Pichai wrote. DeVaul is leaving without any exit package, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Google last week tried explaining its stand amidst the growing backlash over its handling of sexual misconduct cases at the workplace but it seems that its efforts have backfired.

In Europe, CNN witnessed a small group of Google employees walk out at the company's London headquarters.

NYT, Google cheerlead for #MeToo but do they practice what they preach?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged the discontent in an email to employees Tuesday, pledging the company would take a "much harder line on inappropriate behavior".

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