Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has agreed to pay some $310 million to settle a lawsuit with shareholders earlier this week.
HR Dive’s Lisa Burden reports that the lawsuit was filed against the tech company for alleged misconduct and sexual harassment allegations. According to a statement released by La Jolla law firm, Bottini and Bottini, that the settlement is “the largest and most holistic settlement in a shareholder derivative case stemming from sexual harassment and misconduct.”
The plaintiffs in the case allege that members of Google’s board actively fostered a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination that breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders, employees, and users of the company’s services, thus causing financial and reputational damage to Google.
As a part of the settlement, Google will be limited in its ability to use non-disclosure agreements. Members of the company’s board of directors will also be required to go through training on sexual harassment and fiduciary training.
The monies awarded in the lawsuit will be used to fund diversity, inclusion, and equity within the company for the next 10 years. Any future lawsuits brought against Alphabet or Google for any harassment, discrimination, or retaliation matters will no longer be required to submit to mandatory arbitration.
While sexual harassment and discrimination cases have been filed in the past, Burden believes that C-suite occupants and board members within organizations face increased pressure from shareholders to address issues of pay equity, diversity, and inclusion.