Facebook joins Google, halts mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases

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This news, paired with stories about several other men being rewarded for very bad behavior, sparked an internal movement at Google and on November 1, thousands of Google employees around the world walked out of their jobs in protest, demanding change.

Among the new policies, one makes arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.

(He does not address discrimination claims.) The company will also begin providing more detailed information about the process and outcomes in sexual harassment investigations.

With regard to training, Google says that starting next year, all employees will be required to complete sexual harassment training annually (it is now required every two years). The report further added that Google in the past also had protected many of its employees who were accused of sexual misconduct by other employees.

Google is not meeting the request to publicly release a sexual harassment transparency report.


"Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse", Mr Pichai wrote.

Pichai promised that Google will be more transparent with how concerns are handled, and provide better support and care to those who raise such issues with the company.

Some 20,000 Google employees and contractors participated in the protest in 50 cities around the world, according to organizers.

With 80,050 employess (Q1 2018), Google has a market cap of over $748 billion (€656 billion). "We've always been a vanguard company, so if we don't lead the way, nobody else will".

Google has not been available in China for almost a decade after the company publicly withdrew from the country in protest at censorship and alleged government hacking.


The protest took shape after Google said it had fired 48 employees in the past two years - including 13 senior executives - as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct. Google states that "excessive consumption of alcohol is not permitted when you are at work, performing Google business, or attending a Google-related event, whether onsite or offsite".

When a complaint goes into arbitration, an employee waives their right to sue. About a year ago, Microsoft also removed its forced arbitration clause for sexual harassment claims and endorsed a Senate bill attempting to make such a change the law of the land.

"However, the response ignored several of the core demands - like elevating the diversity officer and employee representation on the board - and troublingly erased those focused on racism, discrimination, and the structural inequity built into the modern day Jim Crow class system that separates "full time" employees from contract workers".

Sundar Pichai assured to bring "more granularity around sexual harassment investigations".

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.


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