Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Google ends mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

A positive step —

CEO touts new policies, allows colleagues to accompany one another during HR complaints.

Hexbyte - Tech News - Ars Technica | Exterior of Google office building.
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Organizers lead a march through the Google campus.

Cyrus Farivar

Just a week after thousands of Google employees worldwide protested the company’s inadequate response to sexual harassment, CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company would agree to the first of the organizers’ demands: ending mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases.

Pichai released a public memo in which he said that arbitration, a quasi-legal private dispute resolution process that often favors corporations over individuals, would now be “optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.”

“Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process and arbitration still may be the best path for a number of reasons (e.g. personal privacy) but, we recognize that choice should be up to you,” he wrote.

The company also said in a longer document that it would be changing the way it conducts internal investigations, noting that there would now be a “global process that will allow Googlers to be accompanied by a companion during an HR investigation, or when raising/reporting any harassment or discrimination concerns to HR.”

Notably, Google also said that “going forward, all leaders at the company—Directors, VPs and SVPs—will be expected to create teams, events, offsites and environme

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