Google Set to Rewrite Rules After Global Walkouts

Credit: One News Page Staff- Published on November 9, 2018
by 👨‍💻 Adam Yardley

Google’s women claimed headlines last week after it emerged that hundreds of employees across various global offices belonging to the firm were walking out in protest – specifically in the name of greater equality in company policies and how the firm currently handles sexual assault and harassment allegations. Following major press on the walkouts, Google’s CEO has advised that changes will be made shortly to a number of company policies, according to Sky News.

The news comes as CEO Sundar Pichai sent an open letter to employees across the company which attempted to redress some of the complaints made against Google’s handling of assault and harassment claims. One of the key takeaways from Pichai’s letter includes that of a focus on alcohol – as it emerges that Google will seek to be more punitive on alcohol consumed by staff. Pichai claims, in said letter, that alcohol had appeared to be a common factor in allegations made.

“Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse,” writes Pichai. “But one of the most common factors among the harassment complaints made today at Google is that the perpetrator had been drinking.”

Thus, it seems a ‘drink’ limit will be brought in – but other criticisms have also been addressed. “Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process and arbitration may still be the best path for a number of reasons,” Pichai writes, “(…) but, we recognize that choice should be up to you.” This admission comes as the firm moves to make arbitration during such claims to become purely optional. Further to this, it was confirmed that staff investigated over such claims will face additional penalties if they do not adhere to sexual harassment training.


▶ Google Changes Sexual Harassment Policies After Protest

The Walkout For Real Change occurred at offices in Zurich, Singapore, London, Dublin, Tokyo and Berlin on November 1st, in light of a number of concerns having been raised over high-profile sexual misconduct hearings. Such concerns included allegations over Android creator Andy Rubin having supposedly received a payout of $90 million in severance despite Google having acknowledged there having been credible complaints made with regard to sexual misconduct. Rubin, on social media, claimed such reports to contain ‘wild exaggerations’.

The news that Google is set to make changes will likely be taken as a win for protestors, however, it will remain to be seen whether or not any further changes are implemented.


▶ Google CEO Is Ending Company's Party Culture By Limiting Drinking At Work

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Credit: TomoNews US
Published on November 6, 2018 -  01:37
Google workers stage global protest over women's treatment
GOOGLELAND — Thousands of Google workers around the world staged walkouts last week to protest claims of sexual harassment and gender inequality. Googlers in Tokyo, Zurich, Berlin, Singapore and New York took part in the protests. According to the BBC, workers want to see changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are handled in house, especially an end to forced arbitration, which would finally allow victims to sue. The walkout was held after news came out that Google actually gave former executive Andy Rubin a $90 million payout and kept details of sexual misconduct allegations that led to his resignation on the down low. Rubin, credited as the creator of the Android mobile operating system, denies the allegations. The New York Times, which dropped the Rubin story, also reported on several other sexual misconduct allegations by other Google executives. According to some workers involved in the walkout, bosses had told them not to speak with the media, while others were told to refer reporters to Google's PR department. In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai went into damage control in an email to all staff saying, "I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel. I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too."

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