Google Employees can Now Report Harassment and Discrimination in a Simpler Way

The search giant vows to revamp following the historic Google Walkout last fall.

An Android statue displaying a sign that reads "Walkout For Real Change" during a protest outside Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S.; source: Bloomberg

The tech giant said on Thursday that it’s introducing a new way for its workers to report issues of harassment and discrimination.


Their employees can now raise those concerns via a dedicated site, instead of through multiple disparate channels.


While the site is only available for the company’s full-time employees currently, a similar site for contractors and temp workers will also be available in June.

"A big part of my job is to listen to ideas that Googlers have and take feedback on ways we can improve our workplace," Melonie Parker, Google's newly appointed diversity chief, wrote in a blog post. "We won't implement every idea that our employees (or the outside world) raise, but we always listen, and we consider constructive feedback."

A few other updates were also added to its HR policies.


For example, after a four-month pilot, the search giant is expanding a program that lets people who report harassment and discrimination bring a trusted colleague with them for moral support during internal investigations.


The company is also rolling out a program to provide employees with better care both during and after an investigation.


In addition, it also released its policy guidelines around discrimination, sexual harassment and workplace conduct. Internally, the company said, it published a report that details employee-related misconduct investigations, including cases of harassment and retaliation.

Protesters at the Google Walkout last fall; source: Fortune.com

Google is making good on the promises it made last year following a major protest at the company’s office worldwide over the firm’s handling of sexual harassment cases.


The protest, known as the Google Walkout, made international headlines as nearly 20,000 employees marched out of their offices. The protest came after an investigative report revealed that Google had paid a sum of $90 million in severance package to Android creator Andy Rubin who had been accused of sexual harassment by an employee.


The report also stated that the company had paid large amounts in exit packages to several senior executives accused of sexual misconduct.


The report led to Google's management promising to make changes to the way the company handled sexual harassment and discrimination cases with the CEO Sundar Pichai making arbitration optional for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.

"As CEO, I take this responsibility very seriously and I'm committed to making the changes we need to improve...We will make arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims,"

Pichai had written in his note a month days after the walkout protest.


Source: Cnet.com

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