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Alphabet’s board is being sued for not disclosing harassment cases

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google Larry Page and Sergey BrinGoogle founders Larry Page and Sergey BrinREUTERS/Chip East

  • Alphabet’s board of directors are being sued over allegations of covering up company executives accused of sexual harassment or discrimination. 
  • The lawsuit, on behalf of an Alphabet shareholder, cites Android creator Andy Rubin’s alleged $90 million exit package following an internal investigation into his behavior.
  • “Rubin was allowed to quietly resign by defendants Larry Page and Sergey Brin after an internal investigation found the allegations of sexual harassment by Rubin to be credible,” according to the California court filing. 

The board members of Google-parent company Alphabet are being sued over allegations that the company routinely covered up claims of sexual harassment by executives, including Android creator Andy Rubin who received a $90 million exit package and a “hero’s farewell” following an internal investigation about his behavior.

The lawsuit, filed in California state court on Thursday by an Alphabet shareholder, alleges that the board of directors and top executives, including co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, failed in their responsibility to investors by letting the harassment carry on. 

“Alphabet’s Board knew about allegations of sexual harassment by  numerous high‐level executives at Google, which the Company found to be ‘credible’ after performing internal investigations and review, and yet failed to disclose the finding that the allegations were credible, and  instead allowed the high ‐level executives toresignwith lavish pay packages,” the complaint says. 

In October, The New York Times published details about the allegation that led to Rubin’s dismissal — including his pressuring a woman with whom he had an extramarital relationship into performing oral sex. The Times report also exposed that Rubin was given a $90 million exit package by the company even after an internal investigation found the woman’s complaint to be credible. 

Read more: Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, reportedly had bondage sex videos on his work computer, paid women for ‘ownership relationships,’ and allegedly pressured an employee into oral sex

News of how Alphabet handled the allegations led to thousands of employees staging a walkout in protest last November. 

“Because of Rubin’s importance to Google’s financial results, he was treated differently than other employees by Google’s Board  and senior management,” the suit says. “He was given more deference and was lavished with compensation.”

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as remedies such as eliminating the dual class stock structure that gives Alphabet founders Page and Brin control of the company.  The suit is the first brought against Alphabet’s board, according to Bloomberg, which first reported news of the lawsuit. 

Louise Renne, a former San Francisco City Attorney who is representing the plaintiff, did not answer questions about the lawsuit. Alphabet was did not immediately return a request for comment. 

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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