Google is making changes following last week's sexual harassment walkout

Watch Google employees stage global protests

Watch Google employees stage global protests

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday announced internal policy changes in an attempt to address employee demands.

A week after 20,000 employees walked out in protest over sexual misconduct and inequality at Google, the company said Thursday that it will commit to building a safer workplace, which includes ending forced arbitration and increasing its transparency on reported incidents of sexual misconduct. "It's clear we need to make some changes" said Sunder Pichai in the blog post.

In the letter, Pichai said Google would take the following steps: make arbitration available for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims; overhaul its report channels and provide live support; allow anyone reporting harassment to be accompanied by a support person; and offer "extra care and resources for Googlers during and after the process", including counseling and career support.

The email also outlines other changes to improve company culture, like mandatory annual training about sexual harassment (previous training was once every two years) and creating a "specialty team of advisors" to look into issues of harassment or discrimination. Those who don't comply will be docked one rating in the year-end Perf (Google's performance review system). As though the basic logic that you shouldn't black out and harass or assault your coworkers shouldn't be enough to keep Google employees from doing so. Sundar Pichai assured to bring "more granularity around sexual harassment investigations".

In addition, the company will expect its leaders to foster environments in which excessive alcohol consumption is "strongly" discouraged. "When Google does something, other employers tend to copy it", she said.

- Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the board of directors. The probe concluded that its rank had been poisoned by rampant sexual harassment.

"But one of the most common factors among the harassment complaints made today at Google is that the perpetrator had been drinking".

But the group said that, although it "commended" the process, some concerns had been ignored - such as their demand for a employee representative to be put on the board.

Employees from New York City, Dublin, London, Singapore, Toronto, Berlin, Cambridge, and Mountain View in Silicon Valley all joined in with the protest and provided a list of demands to Google executives. Google will also publicly share its policies on harassment, discrimination, retaliations, standards of conduct and workplace concerns. The coordinated effort followed reports that Google paid Android creator Andy Rubin $90 million after it had determined that allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him were credible.

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