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Vol 1, Issue 02, May 2019
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In 2018, US-based tech giant Google LLC (Google) announced changes in sexual harassment and misconduct policies. The policy change was brought in after thousands of Google employees protested the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations. Reportedly, an article published in the New York Times exposed how Google had shielded some top executives accused of sexual misconduct in addition to paying them massive severance payouts over the years. The article brought to the fore issues related to the existing culture in the company where several abusers were protected, while victims were not paid heed to. Following the article, Google employees worldwide staged a walkout demanding concrete and meaningful action from the management. The organizers presented a list of demands that included an end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees, a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity, and a clear, inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.

On November 8, 2018, Sundar Pichai (Pichai), CEO Google, announced the revamping of the company’s sexual harassment policies. Google ended the practice of forced arbitration for claims related to assault and harassment. Following Google, many other companies like Facebook, Airbnb, and eBay also geared up to curb the forced arbitration policy.

What is forced arbitration? How does forced arbitration exploit employees?
Discuss the pros and cons of mandatory arbitration.
What are the key takeaways for the company from the walkout staged by employees?

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