Two months after thousands of Google employees staged a walkout to protest their company’s approach to sexual misconduct on the job, they’re pushing for more change. They want to end forced arbitration, and they’re challenging other tech companies “to confirm/correct any info” they’re tweeting out Tuesday, which includes whether each company requires forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination and more. They’re calling out companies including Facebook, Netflix, Tesla, Uber and many others.
“Ending forced arbitration is the gateway change needed to transparently address inequity in the workplace,” the group said in a blog post announcing its daylong campaign on Twitter and Instagram to spread the message. Tuesday, among the group’s tweets kicking off the campaign was a definition of forced arbitration, which it said affects at least 60 million employees nationwide: “Arbitration is ‘forced’ when your employer requires you to sign away your right to go to court at the start of your employment, before any legal dispute arises.” Googlers for Ending Forced Arbitration also said its walkout in November 2018 filed to do enough: “The change yielded a win in the headlines, but provided no meaningful gains for worker equity … nor any actual change in employee contracts or future offer letters.” It claims Google is still sending out offer letters with the old arbitration policy, although the tech giant agreed after the walkout to end forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault. A spokeswoman for Google said Tuesday that the company modified its offer letters last week to reflect the changes it agreed to in November. The group wants Google and other companies to end forced arbitration for all workers, including contract workers. “Don’t recognize some of those logos or handles?” the group tweeted Tuesday morning from its handle, @endforcedarb. “That’s probably because they are suppliers of temporary workers, which compose a massive part of the tech workforce. If you work at one of these companies, today is also for you. #EndForcedArbitration #ContractWorkerStories” On Instagram, the group is sharing stories of experts and survivors, including former Google employee Loretta Lee, who defied an arbitration agreement and sued the company over sexual harassment and discrimination. The workers thanked advocacy groups they called allies, including the ACLU, Public Citizen and Times Up, plus workers “who quietly sent us their own employer agreements and shared their stories with us … your courage is the kind we hope to see from our leaders and lawmakers in 2019.” The Google employees’ campaign comes after parent company Alphabet was sued last week by shareholders unhappy about the reported $90 million package received by Android creator Andy Rubin, who was accused of sexual misconduct, and the company’s approach to sexual harassment.
We ask companies to confirm / correct any info. @Airbnb @Amazon @AppleSupport @BuzzFeed @eBay @facebook @instagram @whatsapp @Google @hulu @IBM @intel @LinkedIn @lyft @Microsoft @netflix @Oracle @PalantirTech @Pinterest @reddit @riotgames @salesforce @snap #EndForcedArbitration— End Forced Arbitration (@endforcedarb) January 15, 2019