James Martin, a Google shareholder has filed a lawsuit against Google for paying a total of $105 million to Andy Rubin and Amit Singhal. They were accused of sexual harassment at the company. The report was made first by the Wall Street Journal. It was later confirmed by New York Times. Google paid $90 million to Rubin; and $15 million to Singhal. Singhal left Uber after it was revealed that he did not disclose the sexual harassment allegation.
The suit confirms the board of directors approved a $90 million exit package for Rubin. It was, perhaps, ‘as a goodbye present to him. No mention, of course, was made about the true reason for Rubin’s ‘resignation’ — his egregious sexual harassment while at Google.’
The suit goes on to describe how Singhal ‘was allowed to quietly resign at Google in 2016 in the wake of credible allegations of sexual harassment, and was paid millions in severance.’
In since-unsealed documents, citing documents provided by Google, the suit reveals Google agreed to pay $45 million to Singhal, but ended up paying just $15 million because he went to work for a competitor. Google initially agreed to pay Singhal annual cash payments of $15 million. This was to be paid 12 months and then 24 months after his exit. Google offered an additional maximum of $15 million to be paid 36 months after his exit, contingent upon him not joining a competitor.
‘Because Google’s Board concealed the reasons for Singhal’s departure, he found another lucrative job,’ the suit states.
Singhal was a senior vice president of Search before he resigned from Google in February 2016. At the time, Singhal framed his resignation as a retirement; however, the retirement lasted less than a year. Singhal joined Uber in January 2017. A month later, then-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick asked Singhal to resign. This was a result of Singhal not disclosing the sexual harassment investigation at Google. In an email to Bloomberg, Singhal wrote, ‘harassment is unacceptable in any setting’ and that he wants ‘everyone to know that I do not condone and have not committed such behavior. I’ve never been accused of anything like this before; and the decision to leave Google was my own.’
In November 2018, Google said 48 people had been terminated for sexual harassment. This includes 13 who were senior managers and above. At the time, Google said none of those individuals had received an exit package. In a statement to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson said:
There are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately at Google. In recent years, we’ve made many changes to our workplace; and taken an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority.
The case is 19CV343672 | Martin v. Page, et al. (Alphabet Inc., located in the Superior Court of Santa Clara. You can check out the full complaint below.