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Attorney Argues Google New Sexual Harassment Policy Deceptive

In an article published by Yahoo Finance, a San Francisco employment attorney asserts that Google’s elimination of mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment policies is unlikely to result in an actual benefit to employees.
Technically, eliminating arbitration as a requirement for sexual harassment claims allows those employees to bring those claims to court. However, there remains the issue of the employee’s other claims that are tied to the same set of facts. Under Google’s policy, any other claims of employment discrimination must still be arbitrated. Claims such as retaliation, wrongful termination and discrimination are inextricably linked to sexual harassment. It is those additional claims that increase damages in anticipated lost income and increase the leverage for settlement, according to employment attorney Richard Hoyer. He asserts that it is the combination of claims that entices plaintiff’s lawyers to take on these cases. With only sexual harassment claims available to litigate, it will make it harder for employees to find attorneys. Without legal representation, fewer employees are going to bring lawsuits. Thus, Mr. Hoyer called Google’s policy “deceptive.”
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichari was recently asked by a congressional panel whether Google would be willing to consider ending arbitration for all discrimination claims. Mr. Pichari responded that the company was reviewing the matter. Microsoft told Yahoo Finance it has ended arbitration for “all potential discrimination and harassment claims that could be brought by employees who have arbitration clauses.”