Google Drops Forced Arbitration of Sexual-Harassment Claims

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday made public a letter he sent to all Google employees that outlines the steps the tech giant will take to address growing concerns over how sexual misconduct is handled at the company. Pichai’s moves came two weeks after The New York Times detailed how Google protected top-level employees who had been accused of sexual misconduct, and just a week after Google employees worldwide staged a walkout in response. “We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that,” Pichai wrote. “It’s clear we need to make some changes.” Those changes include making arbitration optional for sexual harassment claims, “overhauling” the channels for reporting harassment, and strengthening the company’s mandatory harassment training. “Even in difficult times, we are encouraged by the commitment of our colleagues to create a better workplace,” Pichai added. “That’s come through very strongly over the past few weeks.”