‘You can’t erase us’: in Silicon Valley, Google workers share assault stories

Employees in Mountain View gathered to add their voices to the global protests, demanding a change to company policies

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — After a day of global protests, employees at Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters added their voices to calls for major change to company policies on gender pay equity and sexual misconduct.

Chants of “Stand up, fight back” and “Women’s rights are workers’ rights” reverberated through a crowd of several hundred workers who gathered on the eastern edge of the company’s vast Mountain View campus at about 11am on Thursday.

Though the “Googleplex” is famous for over-the-top employee perks such as free food, free childcare and free massages, female employees who spoke in a packed courtyard aired serious grievances.

One organizer of the California headquarters event shared the story of an anonymous co-worker who said she complained of sexual harassment by a Google vice-president, who then kept his job at the company for three more years.

Another employee, who gave her name as Nancy, said she was the victim of what she feared was an attempted sexual assault at an off-site company event.

“The last thing I remembered was a co-worker who asked me to switch drinks with him,” she said, drawing boos from the crowd holding signs with phrases such as, “Hey Google, you can’t erase us.”

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