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Maya Mandzikasvili

9 November 2018

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Google Responds to Sexual Misconduct Demands

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Google has recently responded to its employees protest against sexual harassment misconduct cases in the company. What were the main demands of the protesters?

November 11, 2018 AtoZ Markets

It started about a week ago when over 20 000 Google employees within the protest action Google Walkout for Real Change walked out their work. Actions started in Tokyo and Singapore and supposed to cover around 60% company branches around the world. The protest started in response to the company's politics towards sexual misconduct claims. It was one of the largest collective actions of the employees in entire Google history.

What Were the Claims of Google’s Employees?

The main demands of the employees included such topics :  

1.Stop forced arbitration in cases of abuse and discrimination.

2.Put an end to the disparity in pay and opportunities.

3.Launch a public report on sexual harassment.

4.Introduce a clear, unified and globally applied process that will allow anonymously and safely report inappropriate sexual behavior.

5.Make the director responsible for the policy of multiculturalism and non-discrimination report directly to the head of the company and make recommendations directly to the board of directors. Also on the board should be a representative of the working group.

Google Protesters Win and Lose

As a result of the protest, Google employees managed to gain the crucial win on their demands, putting an end to forced arbitration in sexual misconduct cases as well as pay and opportunity inequity.  Such reform will give employees the opportunity to sue other Google employees publicly in a court of law on an assault claim basis. Such practice is already applicable in Uber and Microsoft. After Google joining this group, it will encourage other companies to do the same.  

Google announced to have  “diverse slate of candidates one the interview short list” for the newcomers but will have few “limited exceptions “ for unique skilled specialists.  Also, the company committed to change the practice of hiring director level and above specialists, to make it more diverse.  

Google did not fulfill the request on demand for sharing compensation data with employees. Also, it did not approve a public sexual harassment report but agreed to provide to employees some details about sexual harassment incidents. The company agreed to provide employees with a number of harassment claims over a period of time, but only in case of “substantiated or partially substantiated claims.” 

The company promised to create a new Internal Investigations Practice guide, which will help to handle sexual misconduct concerns. Also, the company will allow employees to be on meetings related to harassment investigation or discrimination with a companion as well as provide with counseling service.  

Despite all wins, some questions stayed unanswered. Google did not meet the last employee's demand. The company’s chief diversity officer, Danielle Brown, will not report to Sundar Pichai. Also, there was no response on demand for adding an employee representative to the board of Google’s parent company.  

According to Google Walkout organizers statements, some employee demands stayed,  fulfilled partially or not met at all. Issues involving racism, discrimination, inequity of rates of promotion and salary did not get that much attention, as Google Walkout statement underlines.  

Google can be called a king of diversity and inclusion,  however, according to the Google Walkout for Real Change organizers, the company  fails in “substantive actions to address systemic racism, increase equity and stop sexual harassment.”  

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Misconduct Demands Sexual Google
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