Google Takes Swift Action With Sexual Harassment Policies


Google management took strong and decisive action on its sexual harassment policies following a recent world-wide employee walkout.

Responding to walkout organizer demands, the company ended its controversial “forced arbitration” policy. This policy required that U.S. employees use Google’s internal procedures when a dispute arises instead of taking the case to court. 

The announcement came just days after the November 1st walkout, when upwards of 20,000 employees left their jobs to protest the pervasive atmosphere of sexual misconduct

Forced Arbitration Restricts Workers’ Rights

Restricting employees to a forced arbitration process limits their rights to take the employer to court when a complaint of sexual harassment arises. 

Where an arbitration process is required, a victim of workplace sexual harassment must attempt to resolve the matter through a secret internal process. The arbitrators are often chosen and paid by the employer. Even though these types of complaints can be complicated, the arbitrators do not have to have relevant legal expertise. In addition, workers don’t always have a fair opportunity to present their evidence. 

Finally, once the arbitrator has declared a decision, it is difficult and sometimes impossible for the decision to be reversed in court. 

Google Has Not Yet Addressed All Walkout Participants’ Demands

Google now makes arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. However, this change does not apply to all discrimination claims.

Other changes announced as a result of the walkout include updating and expanding sexual harassment training; requiring annual training instead of every 2 years; offering extended counseling and other support for those filing concerns; cracking down on alcohol consumption which is frequently noted in harassment complaints.

However, there are walkout demands that are yet unaddressed by Google.

In eliminating mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment and assault complaints, Google joins Microsoft and both Uber and Lyft. And shortly after the Google announcement, Facebook, Airbnb and eBay followed suit.

Let Us Know If You Have Experienced Sexual Harassment at Work

If you or a family member has experienced bullyingsexual assaultsexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultationAttorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Roseland, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.