Google ends mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases

In Mountain View Dublin New York and more Google employees walked out to protest the way Google handles sexual misconduct allegations

Google ends mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases

Employees must annually receive sexual harassment training, rather than the current agreement of every two years. It will offer extended counseling, support for accommodations and leaves, and it will put together a team of advisors on the Employee Relations team focused on sexual harassment and discrimination claims. "It's clear we need to make some changes", Pichai stated in his emailed memo.

Google is promising to be more forceful and open about its handling of sexual misconduct cases, a week after high-paid engineers and others walked out in protest over its male-dominated culture.

Google is rewriting its policies on workplace sexual harassment following a staff walkout over its perceived failings to tackle abuses.

In the email, Pichai says that he takes the role of CEO seriously and that, going forward, Google will "provide more transparency on how we handle concerns".

As protesters demanded, the company is also consolidating reporting channels for those with misconduct complaints. "Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse", the section (correctly) states at the outset, before delving into details on teams using drink tickets to limit alcohol consumption.

Mr. Pichai's actions respond to a couple of the five major requests made by employees during last week's protests.

Google executives overseeing events will be expected to strongly discourage excessive drinking, according to the company, which vowed "onerous actions" if problems persisted.




The global walkout spread to many countries in Europe, North America and Asia, including Britain, Singapore, Japan, Germany, and Google's headquarters in Mountain View in northern California.

Demma Rodriguez, head of equity engineering and a seven-year Google employee, said during the walkout that it was an important part of bringing fairness to the technology colossus.

Employees who organized last week's demonstrations estimated that 20,000 workers participated across Alphabet offices in five continents. "We've always been a vanguard company, so if we don't lead the way, nobody else will".

The new policy changes announced by Google have virtually met most of the demands by Google protesters, except the one that demanded a place for an employee representative on the company's board.

In a statement organisers commended Google for the response, but said more changes are needed. "And we will double down on our commitment to be a representative, equitable and respectful workplace", said Pichai.

While the policy changes Pichai outlined met numerous protesters' requirements, they do not include adding an employee representative to Alphabet's board or elevating the chief diversity officer to report directly to the CEO, it said.

"They all have the same root cause, which is a concentration of power and a lack of accountability at the top", Parker said.

Latest News