Google has come under fire recently as its sexual harassment practices came to light. Employees even staged a walkout to protest the company’s policy of forced arbitration as a means of handling all sexual harassment and assault claims. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports that Google announced last week that it will change its policy.
Google employees got vocal about their desire to see an end to the practice, and tens of thousands of employees walked out in protest, an effort that also aimed to force other changes within the company. Once it became public through a New York Times report that Andy Rubin, a former senior executive, got $90 million as he was headed out the door after credible harassment allegations, Google employees wanted to take action.
Employees of Google have pushed back this past year on a number of other issues too, like operations with the Pentagon and China that were worrisome to many workers. The FANG stocks have been struggling more recently, which also has not helped Google’s image.
Sundar Pichai, the chief executive, sent an email out to everyone in the company in which he explained policy changes being made. “As a CEO, I take this responsibility very seriously and I’m committed to making the changes we need to improve,” he said.
“We will make arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims,” Pichai said, adding that it would rethink and drastically improve the way harassment and assault claims are handled and make everything more transparent. Internal reports won’t become public though, and not every single type of employee falls under the jurisdiction of the new policies.
The Jewish Voice has reported extensively on the #MeToo era and Google’s plans to pay Rubin $90 million in severance. Rubin is getting the money and leaving the company after shocking allegations surfaced of sexual misconduct, which includes claims looked into by Google made by a woman that Rubin forced her to perform oral sex.
Two company executives spoke to The New York Times and told the paper that the investigation found the accusations credible, yet the company still felt that Rubin should get the severance pay. The New York Times learned of other questionable actions, like having “ownership relationships” with other women that required him to pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai admitted having difficulty reading through the New York Times reporting because of the grisly findings but didn’t deny what was found.
“In the last two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above,” Pichai said in the internal memo that CNBC got a hold of, signed onto as well by Eileen Naughton, vice president of people operations. “None of these individuals received an exit package,” the note added, despite the nearly $100 million Rubin is set to take home.
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