Sexual Harassment Payouts in Tech: Here are the Worst Offenders

Payouts for C-suite executives have come under fire in the wake of Google’s reported exit package for Android founder Andy Rubin, which supposedly totaled just shy of $100 million—despite employees accusing Rubin of sexual harassment.
A new study shows that tech pros see what’s happening with company leadership, and they really don’t like it. Blind queried its (anonymous) user base to discover whether or not they believe their employer offered “high-dollar” golden parachutes to employees accused of sexual harassment. Overall, 33.05 percent say that their company is paying out those misbehaving employees.
(We’ll take a moment to note that Blind doesn’t assign a value to “high-dollar,” or offer up any threshold for what is or isn’t appropriate, in terms of behavior.)
Of the companies with at least 50 respondents, Google was found to be the worst offender, with 69.25 percent of its workforce claiming sexual harassment payouts. This number is almost undoubtedly skewed by the recent headlines.
Sexual Harassment Payouts Google Intel
Some 54.84 percent of employees at Intel, which made news after its ex-CEO Brian Krzanich was terminated for engaging in a relationship with a subordinate, called out the company for payouts. Booking.com came in third on the list, with 45.76 percent. Uber and Microsoft round out the top five with 40.32 and 38.46 percent, respectively.
Across the tech industry, reforms to sexual harassment policy are needed. This data hints that many existing managers feel emboldened to act on their urges, safe in the knowledge that, if the company realizes what’s happening, a hefty exit package is waiting.
As companies revisit arbitration policies, the financial kicker for harassment will likely end. Google recently pledged to make its handling of sexual harassment complaints more transparent; it also plans on revamping its channels for reporting and handling employee concerns. Other companies will almost certainly follow suit (Facebook and Airbnb recently announced an end to forced arbitration, which kept many victims’ claims secret), which means we could see a sea change of sorts for the tech industry’s handling of harassment in coming years.