Shareholder suing Google, suit highlights sexual harassment cases

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Google and its parent company Alphabet have been sued with the sole purpose of changing the culture there.

The giant tech company has been marred by claims of sexual harassment and Friday a stockholder has filed what is called a derivative suit on behalf of other shareholders. This is when a shareholder sues company management on behalf of other shareholders.

The global walkout last November cost Google millions of dollars in lost productivity. Employees were outraged over how Google has handled cases of sexual misconduct.

RELATED: Google employees walk out to protest handling of sexual misconduct allegations

A derivative lawsuit brought forward by a stockholder named James Martin claims the sexual harassment accusations have harmed the tech company's reputation, affecting the price of the stock.

The claim says the board including, the two Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, covered up all of these cases.

"And they have a public obligation to let the public know about what they've done and that didn't happen in this case," expressed Ann Ravel a former Federal Election Commissioner who is now one of the attorneys representing the shareholder.

RELATED: 'Enough is enough': Google workers in San Francisco, Mountain View, Sunnyvale walk out in protest of treatment of women

Board meeting minutes, obtained by the attorneys, are perhaps the strongest tool against Google. They include discussions about allegations made against Andy Rubin, a senior executive who had been accused of sexual harassment yet Google gave him a $90-million exit package.

"They interviewed Google security who said we found sex bondage videos on Mr. Rubin work computer. Do you think he was forced out that year for sex bondage video on his computer, not at all," said Frank Bottini, also one of the attorneys.

More meeting minutes were obtained in which other cases of sexual harassment were discussed and payouts were awarded.

RELATED: Google responds with changes after walk out to protest treatment of women

This suit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court seeks to change the power of the board, by hiring three new directors and implementing a one share, one vote system.

"We want all of these kinds of improvements that will make people feel safe, that they can talk about bad conduct going on," said Louise Renne, the third attorney in this case.

Google did not return our calls for comment.
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