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Following the exits at Google offices across the globe a week ago, CEO Sundar Pichai has made numerous changes to sexual harassment policy at the company. A blog post shows a flyover of policy changes, but the details can only be viewed by the employees.
People who walked out demanded a series of five changes at Google, and it seems they might get at least one of them. It is also the most controversial change. That change comes in an end to the requirement that employees were not allowed to sue their workplace harassers. While Google claims that its arbitration system never intends on hiding the harassers from the public eye, arbitration by nature has that effect.
The proceedings are confidential in such situations as good faith before reaching the conclusions. A lawsuit, on the other hand, is more of a public affair. Other changes are less substantial. Google will change its workplace harassment reporting system into a single site backed by live support.
As for in-person reporting, it will have the ability for a reporter to bring a support person who can also report the incident. For those who report workplace harassment will get additional counselling and will have career support options.
Pichai also stated that Google will include "more granularity around sexual harassment investigations" as a part of its new Investigations Report. Furthermore, the employees will be given marks on their annual performance reviews if they do not undergo the sexual harassment training as part of the changes announced, and the training will be revised going forward.
Overall this seems like a positive and welcomed change in the policies of the company, even if some of it doesn't come as strong as it should be. How the new policies work going forward, and will it actually help the victims of workplace harassment remains to be seen.