Google re­form­ing sex­ual mis­con­duct pol­icy

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Michael Liedtke

ROIT» Subaru is re­call­ing DE T about 640,000 ve­hi­cles world­wide to fix two prob­lems that can cause them to stall.

The first re­call cov­ers about 229,000 Out­back and Legacy ve­hi­cles in the U.S. from the 2018 model year. Govern­ment doc­u­ments say a soft­ware prob­lem can stop the low-fuel warn­ing light from il­lu­mi­nat­ing and make the milesto-empty dis­play in­ac­cu­rate. The prob­lem can cause driv­ers to run out of fuel and stall, in­creas­ing the risk of a crash.

The other re­call cov­ers Subaru Im­prezas from 2012 to 2014 and the 2013 BRZ, XV Crosstrek and Toy­ota Scion FR-S.

Poland signs deal for long-term de­liv­er­ies of U.S. gas.

WAR­SAW,

ND» Poland’s main POL A gas com­pany signed a long-term con­tract Thurs­day to re­ceive de­liv­er­ies of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas from the United States as part of a larger ef­fort to re­duce its en­ergy de­pen­dence on Rus­sia.

The state com­pany PGNiG signed the 24year deal with Amer­i­can sup­plier Che­niere dur­ing a cer­e­mony in War­saw that was at­tended by U.S. En­ergy Sec­re­tary Rick Perry and Pol­ish Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda.

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

CEO Sun­dar Pichai spelled out the con­ces­sions in an email sent Thurs­day to Google em­ploy­ees. The note of con­tri­tion came a week af­ter the tech gi­ant’s work­ers left their cu­bi­cles in dozens of of­fices around the world to protest man­age­ment’s treat­ment of top ex­ec­u­tives and other male work­ers ac­cused of sex­ual harass­ment and other mis­con­duct in­volv­ing men. The protest’s or­ga­niz­ers es­ti­mated that about 20,000 work­ers par­tic­i­pated in the walk­out.

“Google’s lead­ers and I have heard your feed­back and have been moved by the sto­ries you’ve shared,” Pichai wrote in his email. “We rec­og­nize 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.” Pichai’s email was ob­tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Google bowed to one of the pro­test­ers’ main de­mands by drop­ping manda­tory ar­bi­tra­tion of all sex­ual mis­con­duct cases. That will now be op­tional un­der the new poli­cies. It mir­rors a change made by ride­hail­ing ser­vice Uber af­ter the com­plaints of its women em­ploy­ees prompted an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­clud­ing that its rank had been poi­soned by ram­pant sex­ual harass­ment

Google will also pro­vide more de­tails about sex­ual mis­con­duct cases in in­ter­nal re­ports avail­able to em­ploy­ees. The break­downs will in­clude the num­ber of cases that were sub­stan­ti­ated within var­i­ous com­pany de­part­ments and list the types of pun­ish­ment im­posed, in­clud­ing fir­ings, pay cuts and man­dated coun­sel­ing.

The com­pany is also step­ping up its train­ing aimed at pre­vent­ing mis­con­duct, re­quir­ing all em­ploy­ees to go through the process an­nu­ally in­stead of ev­ery other year. Those who fall be­hind in their train­ing, in­clud­ing top ex­ec­u­tives, will be dinged in their an­nual per­for­mance re­views, leav­ing a blem­ish that could lower their pay and make it more dif­fi­cult to get pro­moted.

The re­forms are the lat­est fall­out from a broader so­ci­etal back­lash against men’s ex­ploita­tion of their women sub­or­di­nates in busi­ness, en­ter­tain­ment and pol­i­tics.

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