Tuesday , September 27 2022

Google promises to restore a policy of sexual harassment after global protests | Technology


Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will fix the sex harassment policy by meeting some of the demands of employees who have organized historic walks around the world.

In Thursday's e-mail staff, Pichai said that Google will end arbitration over requests for sexual abuse, restore the investigation process, share data on claims and outcomes of harassment, and provide new support systems for people who are surrendering. The announcement is a significant achievement for employees who organized some 20,000 workers last week to leave the company's offices in 50 cities.

Some critics, however, said that the obligations were inadequate, they failed to deal with payment problems and ignored the requirements for improving the rights of temporary employees and contractors.

Massive protests took place after an investigation into the New York Times found that a technology firm paid $ 90 million to the executive board after finding that allegations of sexual abuse against him were credible. The discovery sparked an intense reaction and worried concern over discrimination and abuse in the Silicon Valley.

"We recognize that in the past we have always been wrong and we are sincerely sorry," wrote Pichai. "It's clear we have to make some changes."

Sundar Pichai sent emails to employees dealing with sexual harassment issues.

Sundar Pichai sent emails to employees dealing with sexual harassment issues. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / AFP / Getti Images

Organizers of the promenade demanded the end of forced arbitration, a popular corporate practice that has long enabled human rights departments to file complaints to employees on secret hearings. This system can affect victims in non-day-to-day disclosure agreements, hide worker violations from the public and protect serial offenders. Arbitrage faced an intense test because former Ubera engineer Susan Fowler spoke about harassment last year.

Pichai said that Google will now make an arbitrage "an option for individual sexual harassment and sexual harassment claims", but she pointed out that employees can still decide to keep their requests confidential. This is a significant breakthrough for a company that conducted private arbitration earlier this year in a lawsuit filed by a female software engineer. That prosecutor, Loretta Lee, described the "broccoli" she said she allowed daily harassment, including "unpleasant comments, pranks and even physical violence".

Although Microsoft and Uber supported a compulsory arbitrage policy ahead of pressure in the middle of the # MeToo movement, Google was previously resistant to similar reforms. The company lawyer told the Guardian in March that the arbitration was effective and efficient, saying: "Arbitration is used in literally decades."

Pichai also said that Google will uncover trends related to investigations and disciplinary actions and will create a "one dedicated site" that includes "live support" for people with complaints. Google now also offers "extra attention and resources" to employees, including counseling and career support, and a "support person," the executive said.

The initial requests for expulsion required "safe and anonymous reporting" of a clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual abuse and stated that those who are not full-time workers should be included.

The coalition for technology workers, a group of labor force workers that includes Google employees, criticized Pichai's message in a Guardian statement Thursday, saying that "temp, producers and contractors" (TVCs) "continue to have no adequate protection against sexual harassment ".

Google staff is starting to go to the company headquarters in London.

Google staff is starting to go to the company headquarters in London. Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP / Getti Images

This workforce, which is disproportionate to women and men, did not receive an email and was excluded from the debate in the city hall, the coalition said, adding: "This deliberate treasure shows the system of castrated system that Google uses, which fails protect our workers and our colleagues. For a company that likes to innovate, it is astounding to see such a lack of vision for treating its workforce with basic dignity. "

The coalition also criticized Pichaia for ignoring the requirement to establish a function for appointing employee representatives to the company's board.

Pichai's e-mail also he did not mention discrimination in pay, which is a major problem for women across Google, according to a current lawsuit for working in classes and US labor investigators. The organizers of the training called for "commitment to the ultimate salary and inequality of opportunity".

Google said earlier that it had closed its gender pay gap, the position the class action had caused.

Google remains mostly white, Asian and male. On leadership positions, 2% of employees are black, 1.8% are Latin and 25.5% are women, according to the company.

When asked about temporary workers, a spokesman highlighted Pichai's statement stating that Google is investigating "all issues in which the TVC files an appeal against an employee". The "Code of Conduct" also requires Google's suppliers to "demonstrate commitment to identifying, measuring and improving the diversity and inclusion culture through all aspects of job management," the statement said.

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