More than 1,000 Google employees join sit-in

More than 1,000 Google employees participated in a sit-in on Wednesday protesting the company’s alleged retaliation against workers who have spoken up critically against the tech giant, a Google employee told The Hill.

Google employees in 15 offices around the world – including in New York, California and London – participated in the organized action, which involved a sit-in as well as employees calling in sick to protest.

More international offices are planning their own sit-in protests for after May 1.

“Today, Googlers from around the world are gathering at … to sit together and show retaliation is #NotOkGoogle,” the group organizing the protests, Google Walkout for Real Change, tweeted on Wednesday. “The stories we’ve been collecting will be shared, our demands will be read, and all will be in solidarity with those withstanding this chilling practice.”

Some employees set their “out of office” email replies to provide details about Google’s alleged retaliation against its workers, and others set their profile picture to display support for the protest.

A Google employee told The Hill that management was “tentatively supportive” of the sit-in, with some managers explicitly telling their teams to attend.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the protest directly on Tuesday, saying in a statement that it does not condone retaliation in the workplace.

The sit-in comes six months after more than 20,000 Google workers participated in walkouts at offices around the world, organized to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment as well as general working conditions.

Now, an increasingly vocal group of Google employees who helped organize and facilitate the walkouts say the company is retaliating against them.

The sit-in participants on Wednesday presented a list of “retaliation demands” to management, including a call for a “transparent, open investigation” of Google’s human resources department and its “abysmal handling of employee complaints related to working conditions, discrimination, harassment and retaliation,” according to a copy of the demands obtained by The Hill.

The organizers are also demanding that Google meet the list of demands that protesters presented during the Google walkouts months ago.