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Google eliminates controversial compulsory arbitration practices

The company confirmed to CNN Business that it will no longer require current or future employees to handle complaints against the company through an arbitration forum, rather than go to court. The policy change comes into force on 21 March and applies to all employees around the world.

Forcing employees into arbitration at workplace default and other claims is a recruitment practice that has received more attention in the Me Too era. The agreement, which is often signed as an employment condition, allows an employee not to sue the company or engage in complaint actions against it. Complaints are instead obtained through arbitration, a kind of alternative legal system, with the company.

Critics of the agreements claim that they help companies keep issues that vary from sexual violence to racism and age discrimination.

  Facebook will no longer force employees to resolve sexual harassment claims in arbitration
The news follows a November announcement that Google would no longer force employees with sexual abuse or harassment requirements for arbitration. Other companies such as Uber, Lyft and Facebook have likewise been rid of practices for sexual abuse and harassment claims.

The first policy update did not apply to all discrimination requirements the new one makes.

Axios was the first to report the news of political change on Thursday.

Elimination of forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases is one of several sweeping changes. Google employees demanded coordinated protests at Google offices around the world on November 1 over the company's handling of sexual harassment.

The demonstrations, called Google Walkout, came in the wake of a New York Times survey as detailed years of charges of sexual harassment, multimillion dollar retirement packages for accused executives, and lack of transparency over the cases.
Following the news of the change of policy, praised the official Twitter account for the Google Walkout organizers progress, and said it was still "just the beginning."

Google said that the new policy will not apply to conflicts with past employees or those with prior claims. The company said it would notify suppliers with whom it contracts employees so that they can make decisions to implement similar policies.

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