Googlers to flood social media with tales of harassment in bid to end forced arbitration

Group says search giant hasn't changed its ways – and wants the public to know

Googlers are launching a public campaign in a bid to end forced arbitration as part of the battle over harassment allegations levelled against the corporation.

Alphabet – the search giant’s parent biz – has seen lawsuit after lawsuit roll in over a workplace culture that, it is alleged, allowed harassment and discrimination to go unchallenged.

As the allegations of harassment and discrimination piled up, tensions grew, and some 20,000 Google staffers last year staged a walk out to raise awareness of the million-dollar payouts handed to execs accused of sexual harassment.

The same group are now launching a public campaign that aims to educate people on forced arbitration – this process for resolving workplace disputes requires employees to waive any rights to sue or appeal.

“This practice affects at least 60 million workers in the US alone,” the group said in a Medium post. “Ending forced arbitration is the gateway change needed to transparently address inequity in the workplace.”

The group are particularly frustrated that despite promising to make arbitration optional for individual cases of sexual harassment and assault, there has been no change in employee contracts or future offer letters at Google.

The employees also complained that temporary, vendor and contract staff aren’t employed on the same terms as full-time employees and don’t get communications about safety, discrimination and sexual misconduct.

The Googlers will spend today, between 9am and 6pm EST, flooding social media with the posts about forced arbitration.

On Twitter, @endforcedarb will post once an hour on the hour about the impact forced arbitration has on tech workers, while an Instagram account with the same handle will have interviews of survivors and experts every hour on the half hour.

“In the last month, we’ve heard from fellow tech workers, academic institutions, labor attorneys, advocacy groups and legislators around the nation about their fights to end forced arbitration as well,” the group said.

The group added its thanks to the workers, saying: “Your courage is the kind we hope to see from our leaders and lawmakers in 2019.”

We’ve asked Google for comment and will update this story if the search and ad giant replies. ®




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