Googlers to flood social media with tales of harassment in bid to end forced arbitration

Group says search giant hasn't changed its ways – and wants the public to know

Googlers are launching a public campaign in a bid to end forced arbitration as part of the battle over harassment allegations levelled against the corporation.

Alphabet – the search giant’s parent biz – has seen lawsuit after lawsuit roll in over a workplace culture that, it is alleged, allowed harassment and discrimination to go unchallenged.

As the allegations of harassment and discrimination piled up, tensions grew, and some 20,000 Google staffers last year staged a walk out to raise awareness of the million-dollar payouts handed to execs accused of sexual harassment.

The same group are now launching a public campaign that aims to educate people on forced arbitration – this process for resolving workplace disputes requires employees to waive any rights to sue or appeal.

“This practice affects at least 60 million workers in the US alone,” the group said in a Medium post. “Ending forced arbitration is the gateway change needed to transparently address inequity in the workplace.”

The group are particularly frustrated that despite promising to make arbitration optional for individual cases of sexual harassment and assault, there has been no change in employee contracts or future offer letters at Google.

The employees also complained that temporary, vendor and contract staff aren’t employed on the same terms as full-time employees and don’t get communications about safety, discrimination and sexual misconduct.

The Googlers will spend today, between 9am and 6pm EST, flooding social media with the posts about forced arbitration.

On Twitter, @endforcedarb will post once an hour on the hour about the impact forced arbitration has on tech workers, while an Instagram account with the same handle will have interviews of survivors and experts every hour on the half hour.

“In the last month, we’ve heard from fellow tech workers, academic institutions, labor attorneys, advocacy groups and legislators around the nation about their fights to end forced arbitration as well,” the group said.

The group added its thanks to the workers, saying: “Your courage is the kind we hope to see from our leaders and lawmakers in 2019.”

We’ve asked Google for comment and will update this story if the search and ad giant replies. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Google has more reasons why it doesn't like antitrust law that affects Google
    It'll ruin Gmail, claims web ads giant

    Google has a fresh list of reasons why it opposes tech antitrust legislation making its way through Congress but, like others who've expressed discontent, the ad giant's complaints leave out mention of portions of the proposed law that address said gripes.

    The law bill in question is S.2992, the Senate version of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), which is closer than ever to getting votes in the House and Senate, which could see it advanced to President Biden's desk.

    AICOA prohibits tech companies above a certain size from favoring their own products and services over their competitors. It applies to businesses considered "critical trading partners," meaning the company controls access to a platform through which business users reach their customers. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Meta in one way or another seemingly fall under the scope of this US legislation. 

    Continue reading
  • Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near
    Overhaul of Chrome add-ons set for January, Google says it's for all our own good

    Special report Seven months from now, assuming all goes as planned, Google Chrome will drop support for its legacy extension platform, known as Manifest v2 (Mv2). This is significant if you use a browser extension to, for instance, filter out certain kinds of content and safeguard your privacy.

    Google's Chrome Web Store is supposed to stop accepting Mv2 extension submissions sometime this month. As of January 2023, Chrome will stop running extensions created using Mv2, with limited exceptions for enterprise versions of Chrome operating under corporate policy. And by June 2023, even enterprise versions of Chrome will prevent Mv2 extensions from running.

    The anticipated result will be fewer extensions and less innovation, according to several extension developers.

    Continue reading
  • UK competition watchdog seeks to make mobile browsers, cloud gaming and payments more competitive
    Investigation could help end WebKit monoculture on iOS devices

    The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday said it intends to launch an investigation of Apple's and Google's market power with respect to mobile browsers and cloud gaming, and to take enforcement action against Google for its app store payment practices.

    "When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards," said Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, in a statement. "As good as many of their services and products are, their strong grip on mobile ecosystems allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice."

    The decision to open a formal investigation follows the CMA's year-long study of the mobile ecosystem. The competition watchdog's findings have been published in a report that concludes Apple and Google have a duopoly that limits competition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022