On February 21, 2019, Google announced that it was ending forced arbitration for employees who sue the company for discrimination, wrongful termination, or unequal pay based on gender, reports Wired. In November 2018, Google had decided to end its mandatory arbitration requirement for claims against the company for sexual harassment or sexual assault, Wired reports. The February expansion is significant because it includes many claims that are typically brought together with sexual harassment claims, as Wired points out.
The November 2018 change in policy occurred after 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout to protest Google’s handling of sexual harassment cases, reports Wired.
The move is an important one for Google and Silicon Valley, as Wired explains:
Historically, class-action lawsuits have been a vehicle for change, such as curbing sexual harassment on Wall Street.
The change in policy, however, does not apply to Google’s army of independent contractors, Wired reports. Some of those contractors may instead have a claim in California for misclassification.
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