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Google Ends Mandatory Arbitration for Employees

Effective March 21, 2019, Google is ending mandatory arbitration for all employment disputes and it will apply to all U.S. and international employees. The new policy applies to current and future employees. Disputes with former employees and settled claims will not be impacted by the change in policy.
As has been mentioned previously, Google had been the object of a massive employee protest after a New York Times article disclosing massive exit payouts for executives accused of sexual harassment. One of the issues included in the list of issues for the walkout was ending arbitration for sexual harassment claims. A splinter group broadened the demand to include ending arbitration for all employment-related disputes. The splinter group had included contractors and temporary workers in its demand for a ban on all arbitration. It is worth noting that almost half of Google’s employees are independent contractors and they are not beneficiaries of the new policy. Critics of Google’s policy changes point out the inequities for low-level workers such as cleaners, service workers, and drivers who do not receive this or other employment benefits, creating a lower class of workers.