Google ends mandatory arbitration policy

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 stopped so-called forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment and assault previous year after 20,000 workers walked out to oppose how the internet-search giant handles internal complaints. What forced arbitration means is that employees sign an agreement to settle disputes within the company rather than take a case to court. Employees will still have the option to arbitrate privately.

"Employees with disputes now in arbitration who are still employed by the company as of March 21 will be able to choose to sue instead", the report added, quoting Google. With this, Google employees who face workplace misconduct in any form can now go public.

Google workers who staged a walk out late previous year have continued to press the tech giant to drop forced arbitration requirements.

Google Walkout organizers who are focused on forced arbitration issues said they would continue working on ending the practice at other companies.

"We are definitely looking into this area further", Pichai said.

While Google won't reopen settled claims, current employees can litigate past claims starting March 21, reported TechCrunch.

"This victory never would have happened if workers hadn't banded together, supported one another, and walked out", tweeted the Google Walkout account.

As a result, the company has now dropped forced arbitration in all cases. "This is still just the beginning".

Google will likewise remove arbitration requirements for its extensive group of temps and contractual workers, in spite of the fact that the organization says it won't be able to control the policy that its workforce suppliers mandate on arbitration. The Mountain View, California-based company won't require third-parties that employ sub-contracted staff for Google to institute the same changes, though.

Other big tech companies like Facebook and Uber have recently ended forced arbitration for sexual harassment claims so that employees can bring those claims to the public. "Collective action works. Worker power works".

  • Eleanor Harrison