Walkout prompts Google to reform policies on dealing with sexual harassment


What just happened? Last week's massive employee walkout has prompted Google to revise how it handles all aspects of sexual harassment, from assault claims and reporting to support and training.

Moving forward, Pichai said Google will be more transparent about how they handle concerns and be more supportive of those who raise them. "And we will double down on our commitment to be a representative, equitable, and respectful workplace".

The reckoning wrought by #MeToo has left Silicon Valley exposed, revealing patterns of abuse and inequality beneath a veneer of progress.

After years as a free-wheeling, fast-growing startup, Google is trying to adjust to the responsibilities and realities of being one of the world's most powerful companies.

Sabrina Geremia says she feels the walkout, which included workers in Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo, is a "difficult episode", but that she hopes it will become a "watermark" for the industry.

The walkout, which took place on November 1, saw approximately 20,000 employees leave their Google offices around the globe at 11:10 a.m. local time. The company will also provide more support to employees who report, including counseling and allowing them to bring a companion with them during HR investigations. "Sadly, the executive team has demonstrated through their lack of meaningful action that our safety is not a priority".

"As previously reported, Google allegedly gave former executive Andy Rubin a "hero's farewell" and a "$90 million exit package", despite concluding that sexual harassment allegations against him were "credible".

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With his normal caddie already holding a scheduling conflict, Kuchar instead hired a local caddie to fill the void. Spieth had his first PGA Tour victory seven months after leaving college early.

By and large, the new policies are a direct response to these demands.

The Alphabet Inc. unit is making arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.

Sexual harassment training will now be mandatory every year, instead of every two years, and Google says it will be punishing those who do not comply by giving them demerits that will impact annual reviews.

In addition, the company will expect its leaders to foster environments in which excessive alcohol consumption is "strongly" discouraged.

"We demand a truly equitable culture", organizer Stephanie Parker wrote in response to Pichai's November 8 email, "and Google leadership can achieve this by putting employee representation on the board and giving full rights and protections to contract workers, our most vulnerable workers, many of whom are Black and Brown women".

"I'm here protesting against harassment in the workplace to make sure we don't protect or support those perpetrators of harassment", one protester told Sky News.

The change was announced in an emailed memo to employees from CEO Sundar Pichai.