Last November, Whittaker and six colleagues organized a walkout after it emerged that Google paid large sums to executives who were accused of sexual harassment. The protesters demanded an end to forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases and greater transparency over pay and job opportunities.
Whittaker said that she experienced retaliation after organizing the November protest and was told that her role would be “changed dramatically.” Another of the protest organizers, Claire Stapleton was told she would be demoted and subsequently left the company as well. There were further accusations of reprisals at Google’s town hall meeting in April.
Whittaker also previously spoke out against Google’s involvement in Project Maven, an AI for the US Department of Defense which analyzed drone footage.
Chris Lu, a software engineer at Google, criticized the company’s treatment of Whittaker in a tweet, saying “Watching her experience as a whistleblower at Google and a victim of retaliation cannot signal good things for how AI institutions will react to negative criticism. #NotOkGoogle”