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Google Announces New Rules About Sexual Harassment

Google is announcing new policies around sexual harassment after a worldwide employee protest about it last week. The new policies imitate demands from the protesters, who met with Google leadership earlier this week. CEO Sundar Pichai wrote this in an email to employees that they recognize that they have not always gotten everything right in the past and are sincerely sorry for that. They’re aware that they need to make some changes now.

The protest organizers, on the other hand, say that Google “ignored several of the core demands” they’d put forward.

Pichai wrote that Google “will provide more lucidity on how we handle concerns. We’ll give better support and care to the people who raise them. And we will double down on our pledge to be a delegate, fair, and deferential workplace.” He included a review of the new policies; Google also released a file with more details about the policies, which meet some but not all of the new demands.

One of Google’s key changes is making negotiation optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims, so employees could take misbehavior claims to court instead of in private settling them. Pichai also promises to provide “more granularities” in inner reports about harassment at Google, offering details about how many cases have been validated, as well as “trends,” corrective actions taken, and specifics on what kind of behavior “we do and do not cease employees for.”

Google will modernize and develop its compulsory sexual harassment training, and it will start docking the performance reassess scores of employees who don’t complete the training.

Pichai also promises to develop the system for reporting sexual harassment and assault. It will create a enthusiastic reporting site with live support, offer counseling to people who report assault or harassment, and allow Google employees to bring another person to support them when they meet to discuss their complaints. These changes will be applied between now and the first quarter of 2019.

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