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Google Ends Forced Arbitration

Following a series of walkouts, the company will now allow employees to have their day in court

Posted on
Feb 22, 2019

One of the nation's largest tech companies is doing away with forced arbitration after a series of worker walkouts. Find out more from the AP.

Google said Thursday it will no longer require that its workers settle disputes with the company through arbitration, responding to months of pressure from employees.

The change will take effect March 21 and will apply to current and future employees. Employees that have settled past disputes won't be able to re-open their cases.

Google said last year it would end forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault cases, and Thursday expanded that practice to all worker disputes. Google's parent company, Mountain View, California-based Alphabet Inc., has its nearly 100,000 employees.

The updated practices only apply to Google employees, and employees of Google projects such as Deep Mind and Access. Other Alphabet subsidiaries, such as Waymo, are not included.

Mandatory arbitration requires employees to settle their disputes with the company privately and outside of court. The practice, widespread in U.S. employment contracts, can lend itself to secrecy and has faced criticism recently.

 

Google workers who staged a walk out late last year have continued to press the tech giant to drop forced arbitration requirements. Protest organizers commended Google for Thursday's announcement, but wrote in a Medium post that they would not officially celebrate until the changes went live in employee agreements.

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