Culture

Google revising sexual harassment policies after worker backlash

Google revising sexual harassment policies after worker backlash”

Google's plan includes providing more transparency around sexual harassment investigations and outcomes as part of its annual "Investigations Report", revamping its reporting channels for incidents of misconduct, updating and expanding its sexual harassment training and making arbitration optional for sexual harassment 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.

"We will enhance the processes we use to handle concerns, including the ability for Googlers to be accompanied by a support person", Pichai said.

The organizers behind the Google walkouts published a list of actionable demands, including ending forced arbitration for harassment and discrimination and a "commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity".

The protest began last week after The New York Times reported on allegations of sexual misconduct about Andy Rubin, the creator of Google's Android software, who allegedly received a $90 million severance package in 2014 after Google concluded the assault claims were credible. Women account for 31 per cent of Google's employees worldwide, and it's lower for leadership roles.

"Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse", Google said in a released action statement.

The company also promised to "recommit" to improving workplace diversity through hiring, retention, and career advancement.

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Noting that in 20 per cent of harassment reports, the perpetrator had been drinking alcohol, the company says it expects corporate leaders - directors, VPs, and SVPs - to take steps to limit excessive drinking during company-related activities.

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

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.

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.

Geremia says the anger of those who walked out highlights that more women and minorities are needed in tech, but that need isn't unique to the sector.

"We're revamping the way we handle and look into your concerns. we will update and expand our mandatory sexual harassment training". Throughout the protests several female employees shared their stories while working at Google, claiming that their allegations had largely fell on deaf ears.



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