Google protesters win harassment campaign
GOOGLE will end its policy of forcing workers to sign away their right to take a sexual harassment case to court in a win for the 20,000 employees who last week staged a protest over alleged payouts to predatory executives.
Googlers, the nickname the Silicon Valley giant gives its staff, have until now had to waive their right to take a claim public upon accepting a job. Now arbitration – often a quicker way to settle employment disputes – will be optional, according to an email sent to employees yesterday.
Sundar Pichai, the chief executive, wrote: “Over the past few weeks Google’s leaders and I have heard your feedback and have been moved by the stories you’ve shared. We recognise that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that. It’s clear we need to make some changes.
“Going forward, we will provide more transparency on how we handle concerns. We’ll give better support and care to the people who raise them. And we will double down on our commitment to be a representative, equitable, and respectful workplace.”
An estimated 20,000 Google employees and contractors took part in the protests across 50 cities worldwide on Nov 1. Several female employees shared their stories, claiming their allegations had largely fallen on deaf ears. The marches were prompted by a report in The New York Times that alleged Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, was handed $90m (£69m) to leave quietly after he was accused of sexually assaulting another employee. Mr Rubin has denied the allegations.
It was also claimed that Richard DeVaul, former boss of Google’s secretive “X” department responsible for driverless cars and internet balloons, had also been accused of harassment. He resigned after the story was published.
Mr Pichai told workers that 48 employees had been sacked for sexual harassment in the past two years but that none of them had received similar payments to Rubin.