Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)'s board is investigating allegations of sexual harassment against its senior executives and the company’s subsequent handling of the matter, CNBC reported Wednesday.
Alphabet confirmed to CNBC that it opened a special litigation committee in January when its shareholders filed a lawsuit against the board accusing it of covering up sexual misconduct.
“The Directors’ wrongful conduct allowed the illegal conduct to proliferate and continue,” the suit said, according to a New York Times report at the time it was filed.
"As such, members of Alphabet’s Board were knowing and direct enablers of sexual harassment and discrimination."
Google paid out $90 million in severance to Android co-founder Andy Rubin after the company found a sexual harassment claim against him to be credible, the Times reported.
The technology giant doesn’t provide any severance package to regular employees, just top executives, according to the shareholder lawsuit.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in October 2018 that the company fired 48 employees over two years for sexual harassment, according to the Times.
David Drummond, Alphabet's chief legal officer, is one of the executives under investigation, CNBC said.
Jennifer Blakely, a former lawyer at Google, said Drummond had an extramarital affair with her in violation of Google’s policy that bans relationships within the "chain of command." She also accused Drummond of neglecting a child they had together in 2007.
Drummond married another Google employee in September, according to CNBC.
Alphabet expects to complete the internal investigation by Dec. 13, when it has to give an official response to the lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Reuters reported Wednesday.
New York-based law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore is assisting Alphabet with the lawsuit, the newswire said.
Alphabet shares were down 0.16% at $1,289 in Wednesday's after hours session.