Canadian Google employees join world walkouts over sexual misconduct

Google employees in Canada staged protests Thursday as part of an international walkout protesting the company's treatment of women and alleged handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

Google employees left their offices in Kitchener, Ont., Toronto, Ont. and Montreal, Qc as part of an international walkout protesting the company's treatment of women and alleged handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

At its Canadian engineering and development headquarters in Kitchener, employees reversed the protest and instead staged a "walk-in" from inside the company's lobby. 

When media tried to enter the building, an unnamed employee met them at the door and confirmed that employees were gathering as part of the worldwide Walkout for Real Change.

But he said that Google was handling this walk-in as an internal affair and that no employee would be speaking to the media. 

Reporters were then asked to remove themselves from the company's property.

Montreal, Toronto walkouts

About two dozen workers left the tech giant's Montreal office and at least one hundred exited the company's Toronto office just after 11 a.m. local time.

Those in Toronto walked to a nearby park where they spent about 15 minutes reading pages of stories from anonymous Google employees alleging sexism.

Some who were part of the walkout said they would not be returning to work that day, while others were seen headed back into Google's offices shortly after.

The Canadian employees joined thousands of Google workers across the globe who staged walkouts in the wake of a New York Times story that detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against Google Android software creator Andy Rubin, who the publication said received a $90 million severance package in 2014 after Google concluded the allegations against him were credible.

In a statement sent to The Canadian Press, Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai said the company would support employees if they felt the need to walk out and said Google was planning to act on feedback from workers.

With files from The Canadian Press