Google employees walk out following poor sexual harassment handling

Jason Manaois / November 1, 2018



The famous Google logo.
(dullhunk/ Flickr.com)

Several employees from Google walked out of multiple sites to protest the tech giant’s actions towards women.

Employees are requiring the company to adjust the way they handle sexual assault allegations. This includes an end to forced arbitration, which had Google staff dealing with these allegations internally since they could not sue under their contracts. Currently, women make up 30% of Google’s workforce.

UBC Law professor Janine Benedet, explained that while forced arbitration is common in the US, most companies in Canada take a different approach.

“If its a larger company they would typically hire an investigator or use an internal HR person to conduct an investigation, or if that wasn’t available…you’d be off to the Human Rights Tribunal and filing a complaint there” – Janine Benedet, UBC Law/ Director of Centre for Feminist Legal Studies

Forced arbitration protects the employers since they can’t be sued, but this leads to having allegations like sexual harassment being kept under the rug. Something Benedet said is a problem.

“Of course things that happen in a workplace are private to the people that are within them, but secrecy is not really a good thing when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual assault, and often it’s by bringing these things out to the open that more people will come forward.” -Janine Benedet, UBC Law/ Director of Centre for Feminist Legal Studies

The Chief Executive of Google Sundar Pichai, also responded to the action at a press conference by showing his support for the employees in their right to walk out.

The #MeToo movement was created to fight against sexual harassment in workplaces. (surdumihail/ pixabay.com)