The Daily Telegraph

Google executive fired for drunken pass at female colleagues

- By Daily Telegraph Reporter

A FORMER Google executive who claimed he was fired for whistleblo­wing was instead sacked for making inappropri­ate sexual comments towards younger female colleagues when drunk, a tribunal has heard.

Robin Frewer sued Google for unfair dismissal in June after he lost his job following accusation­s of sexual harassment. He claimed he had been dismissed for making allegation­s of anti-competitiv­e behaviour at Google, which the company denied.

The employment tribunal heard that the commercial director was sacked after he drunkenly invited two junior female employees to his hotel room to “blindfold them” during a trip to Milan.

Mr Frewer, thought to be in his 50s, had been drinking over dinner when he made sexually inappropri­ate comments to the younger women on his team.

He asked one to tell him “nice and slow” about the “naughtiest thing she had ever done”, joked about hiring an escort and made a “concerning” remark about waiting for another to “make sure she got home OK”. Mr Frewer, who worked at Google for 13 years, claimed he had an “old-fashioned sense of humour” and insisted his comments were “humorous rather than sexual”.

He alleged he was fired because he had spoken out about bad practice at Google, accusing it of rigging its search engine to benefit favoured clients.

He added that he had been under “huge financial pressure” and alcohol had affected him more than usual owing to medication he takes for depression.

Mr Frewer was taken to a disciplina­ry hearing in May 2020 and sacked the following month.

At the tribunal he alleged that his accusation­s against Google and mental ill health meant bosses had wanted him gone. But employment judge Andrew Glennie dismissed his claims of whistleblo­wing detriments, disability discrimina­tion, and unfair dismissal.

He said: “Mr Frewer’s partial acceptance of the allegation­s, his somewhat enigmatic denial of the other aspects, the suggestion that others at the table may have been drunk, and his assertion that he had not done anything wrong, all led the tribunal to doubt his account of events.”

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