Google to end forced arbitration agreements for employees

Google to end forced arbitration agreements for employees

Google to end forced arbitration agreements for employees

Google is reforming how it deals with employee disputes.

The search giant then promised to make arbitration optional for individual cases of sexual harassment and assault, but staffers sought to have this extended.

That's the alternative legal system often used to settle matters out of court.

Last year, following mass employee walkouts, Google ended its much-loathed policy of forced arbitration for workers who complain about sexual harassment-Facebook swiftly followed suit.

In November, Google said that it would end forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault cases, but that wasn't enough for some critics who said all kinds of cases should be covered.

After employee protests and a winter of discontent at Google LLC, the company today said it will end forced arbitration for all employees starting March 21.

The decision will not open the door to bringing lawsuits over previously-settled claims, said Google. The protest was announced in the wake of a New York Times article that alleged that not only does Google not take action against high-ranking employees found guilty of sexual misconduct, it sweeps the matter under the rug whilst granting a generous exit package to the violators. The share of workers employed under forced arbitration has roughly doubled since the early 2000s, giving fewer workers access to the courts for civil rights, family leave, and wage and hour claims.

Google's turnaround on arbitration follows months of employee criticism of the practice; 20,000 employees took part in a November walkout that drew worldwide attention. But it will not require vendors to change their own contracts, meaning some workers could still be held to the previous standard. Companies like forced arbitration because it helps avoid large, costly lawsuits that lead to big payouts for workers.

"This victory never would have happened if workers hadn't banded together, supported one another, and walked out". In today's announcement, the organization said it would expand that policy to present and future workers in any type of dispute.

Mandatory arbitration remains a common policy for many companies, with the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank, finding that more than 60 million American employeesworked under the agreements.

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