Why Google employees are staging a sit-in protest 6 months after historic walkout

Google employees across the country are expected to participate in a sit-in protest Wednesday — six months after more than 20,000 workers marched out of their offices after sexual harassment claims against executives surfaced — to send another message to management about workplace culture.

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"From being told to go on sick leave when you're not sick, to having your reports taken away, we're sick of retaliation. Six months ago, we walked out. This time, we're sitting in," organizers of Google Walkout tweeted on Tuesday.

Dozens of Twitter users shared the message, using the hashtag #NotOkGoogle, and vowed to participate in the nationwide demonstration at 11 a.m.

"On the six month anniversary of the Google Walkout, I'll be supporting those who have been retaliated against at Google by sitting in. #NotOkGoogle," a Google software engineer replied to Google Walkout's tweet.

"I stand in solidarity (sit in solidarity?) with my friends & colleagues at Google today. @GoogleWalkout #GoogleSitIn," another Google employee wrote.

The sit-in comes just weeks after Google employees held a town hall in response to allegations that two protest organizers — Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton — faced retaliation over their parts in the historic November protest.

Whittaker, who leads Google’s Open Research, claimed in an email to colleagues that she was informed her role would be "changed dramatically" earlier this month, according to Wired. Stapleton, a marketing manager at YouTube who had been with the tech giant for more than a decade, also alleged in an email that she was told she'd be demoted and lose a major portion of her direct reports following the massive fall protests, the publication reported.


“My manager started ignoring me, my work was given to other people, and I was told to go on medical leave, even though I’m not sick,” wrote Stapleton, per Wired. "While my work has been restored, the environment remains hostile and I consider quitting nearly every day."

Google declined Fox Business' request for further comment on the scheduled sit-in Wednesday morning, directing us to its previous statement on the subject.

"We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy. To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation," a Google spokesman previously said.