Google changes sex harassment policies after worker protests

Google changes sex harassment policies after worker protests

This news, paired with stories about several other men being rewarded for very bad behavior, sparked an internal movement at Google and on November 1, thousands of Google employees around the world walked out of their jobs in protest, demanding change.

First, Google will make arbitration optional for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims, and its Investigations Report will now include a new section focused on sexual harassment.

Pichai also said Google will "revamp" how it handles concerns from employees in three ways; overhauling reporting channels; updating and expanding mandatory sexual harassment training; and recommitting to company-wide objectives and key results (OKR) around diversity, equity and inclusion again in 2019.

Google will provide "more granularity", regarding sexual harassment investigations and their outcomes, according to Mr Pichai.

Pichai - who gave employees free reign to walk out of work - had previously revealed in an internal memo that the company has fired 48 employees over the last two years for harassment, including 13 "senior managers and above", none of whom received an exit package.

Google is rewriting its policies on workplace sexual harassment following a staff walkout over its perceived failings to tackle abuses.

Some of the new policies were items that the protesting workers had called for, like ending forced arbitration for employees who want to sue over harassment claims.

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The changes didn't go far enough to satisfy Vicki Tardif Holland, a Google employee who helped organize and spoke at the protests near the company's Cambridge, Massachusetts, office last week.

In the article, titled, "Google Workers Reject Silicon Valley Individualism in Walkout", Scheiber claimed the mass organization was evidence of a rejection of Silicon Valley's formerly individualist identity. Google said in an additional document detailing changes that it will routinely review contractor and temp worker suppliers to see if they adhere to agreements around the handling of employee complaints. "Whatever form it takes, I actually don't know the answer", said Pichai in an interview with The New York Times published on Thursday.

In addition, the company will expect its leaders to foster environments in which excessive alcohol consumption is "strongly" discouraged.

What Google failed to make public at the time was that an employee had accused Rubin of sexual misconduct.

If bosses do not clamp down on drinking within their teams, "more onerous action will be imposed", the Google chief warned.

"We demand a truly equitable culture, and Google leadership can achieve this by putting employee representation on the board and giving full rights and protections to contract workers", organiser Stephanie Parker said in the statement.

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