Google ends forced arbitration for sexual misconduct cases

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Google employees walked out of the company's offices around the world on November 1 in protest of the search giant's handling of sexual harassment claims - specifically at the executive level.

In a post, on website Medium, organizer Stephanie Parker said of the response: '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, our most vulnerable workers, many of whom are Black and Brown women'.

After The New York times published an explosive story on how the company previously protected one of its star engineers, Andy Rubin, amid a sexual misconduct investigation, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed the company has fired 48 employees for sexual harassment in the last two years.

Thousands of Google employees joined a coordinated worldwide walkout a week ago to protest the U.S. tech giant's handling of sexual harassment.

On the current boozing culture he said: "Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse". Google is also promising "extra care and resources" for Googlers with complaints, "during and after the process", such as extended counseling and career support.

The walkout, which took place on November 1, saw approximately 20,000 employees leave their Google offices around the globe at 11:10 a.m. local time.

Google executives have faced rising scrutiny from a number of employees and USA politicians, who have indicated that Google's efforts in China could assist the government in "repressing and manipulating" its citizens. "We've always been a vanguard company, so if we don't lead the way, nobody else will".

Google is overhauling its reporting channels by bringing them together on one dedicated site and including live support, he informed.

In 20 per cent of cases which had been brought forward involving harassment, the perpetrator had been drinking, Mr Pichai noted. Google states that "excessive consumption of alcohol is not permitted when you are at work, performing Google business, or attending a Google-related event, whether onsite or offsite". "This is an area where we need to continually make progress and are committed to doing so". "But we also have goals as a company and we can't decide we are going to miss those".

In what seems to have become a malaise in large corporations, a recent sexual allegation against a senior executive at Google's parent company Alphabet has burst its seams, per a Fortune report.

"We will impose more onerous actions if problems persist", Google said.

Along with sexual harassment, Google needs to address racism and discrimination that includes inequity in pay and promotions, organizers said.

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