Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Google says it will reform sexual misconduct rules

Watch Google employees stage global protests Google ends mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases
Jean Garcia | 09 November, 2018, 01:33

"We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that", he wrote.

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 environments in which excessive alcohol consumption is strongly discouraged".

Last week, Google employees staged mass walkout protests around the world following allegations that Google protected sexual harassers at the company.

"I'm here protesting against harassment in the workplace to make sure we don't protect or support those perpetrators of harassment", one protester told Sky News.

"More granularity around sexual harassment investigations and outcomes".

Among the measures announced are the introduction of optional arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.

The company will also revise the manner in which it will probe employee concerns, including streamlining reporting channels, allowing staff to be accompanied by support persons and offering extra care and resources like counselling and career support during and after the process.

Search for Missing Boy in Outback Ends in Tragedy
Nobbs said police still couldn't rule out the possibility that there had been other passengers in the vehicle when it broke down. Police were alerted to the deaths after a man raised the alarm at the Willowra Health Clinic just before 12.30pm on Wednesday.

The measures, Mr Pichai said, will increase transparency around instances of sexual harassment, expand mandatory training, and offer increased support for those with claims.

"But the issues that contributed to the walkout at Google - the company's controversial work with the Pentagon on artificial intelligence, its apparent willingness to build a censored search engine for China, and above all its handling of sexual harassment accusations against senior managers - proved too large for any one worker to confront alone, even if that worker made mid-six figures", he continued.

Google got caught in the crosshairs two weeks ago after The New York Times detailed allegations of sexual misconduct about the creator of Google's Android software, Andy Rubin.

Protest organizers said Google publicly champions diversity and inclusion but doesn't do enough to put words into action.

Pichai committed to several of those changes, but a demand to have an employee representative appointed to the board was not addressed.

In an unsigned letter, Google protesters demanded an end to forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases, which required employees to forfeit their right to sue and typically included a confidentiality agreement.

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