Google settles shareholder lawsuit over sexual harassment claims

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc has settled a shareholder lawsuit that accused the Google parent of paying lavish exit packages to executives found responsible for sexual misconduct, saying it would increase oversight of its diversity and equity efforts.

The company will set aside $310 million in funding towards diversity initiatives and prohibit severance packages to employees who are subject to any pending investigation for sexual misconduct or retaliation, it said.

The lawsuit from last year accused Alphabet leadership of covering up sexual harassment scandals within the company including by awarding lavish exit packages to two top executives found responsible for misconduct. The litigation had been in mediation.

Alphabet said on Friday it is setting set up a new council to oversee its diversity efforts and would make arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment claims, heeding to a long-time request from some of its employees.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru, Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Editing by Aditya Soni)


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