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Two of the women who organized 20,000 people's Google walkout in protest against the company's handling of sexual harassment complaints in November say they face retaliation, according to a letter published by Wired . Claire Stapleton and Meredith Whittaker each detailed that they were demoted from their roles in the company after the expiration.
Whittaker and Stapleton are two of the seven women who helped organize the walkout, and their letters were posted to internal mailing lists at Google. Whittaker, who leads Google's open research, said she was informed that her role would be "dramatically changed." Whittaker wrote that she felt she was forced to choose to leave the company and leave her work with AI ethics and a research center she founded at New York University, called the AI Now Institute.
Stapleton, who works for Youtube, wrote that two months after she was demoted and projects that she had previously approved were taken away. "My leader began to ignore me, my work was given to other people, and I was told to go on sick leave, even though I wasn't sick," she wrote.
Their joint letter continued saying that the listing they described is not uncommon at Google, and says the company has a retirement culture, which too often works to make women, colors, and gender minorities.
In a statement to Wired a Google representative denied that there was any return in the company.
"We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and investigate all claims. Employees and teams are regularly and frequently recruited, or reorganized, to keep pace with evolving business needs. There has been no retribution here."
Stapleton wrote that after she had retained a lawyer, her demotion went back, Whittaker and Stapleton's letter concluded with a town hall announcement that will be hosted on April 26 for retaliation and urged other Google employees to share their own