Google to overhaul sexual harassment policies following employee walkout

09 November, 2018, 06:41 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • In Mountain View Dublin New York and more Google employees walked out to protest the way Google handles sexual misconduct allegations

"We demand a truly equitable culture", organizer Stephanie Parker wrote in response to Pichai's November 8 email, "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".

"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 recognise that choice should be up to you", Mr Pichai wrote.

In the email, Pichai says that he takes the role of CEO seriously and that, going forward, Google will "provide more transparency on how we handle concerns".

They also want Google to commit to ending pay inequity, issue a report on sexual harassment inside the company, and adopt a clearer process for reporting complaints.

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

Payne Capital Management's Michelle McKinnon and EventShares Chief Investment Officer Ben Phillips on Google employees staging a walkout to protest sexual misconduct allegations at the company and the outlook for the tech sector.

The email also outlines other changes to improve company culture, like mandatory annual training about sexual harassment (previous training was once every two years) and creating a "specialty team of advisors" to look into issues of harassment or discrimination.

Google said it had no further comment beyond Pichai's letter.

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

Google policy already bans excessive consumption of alcohol on the job; while on company business, or at work-related events.

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

The update does not address the walkout organizers' demand that the company be transparent about any exit packages awarded to those who are forced out of the company following investigation.

A massive turnout at the "Googleplex" in Silicon Valley was the final stage of a global walkout that began in Asia and spread to Google offices in Europe.

"We have an aspiration to be the best company in the world", Rodriguez said.

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. The New York Times reported last month that Google had suppressed allegations of sexual misconduct against several of its executives, and had reportedly paid one executive $90 million when he left the company after a sexual misconduct investigation deemed allegations against him were credible.

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